I once lived in an area that was prevalent with an auto repair yard, shanties, a lot of lotto-game kiosks (you will understand if you are familiar with Lagos streets😄), people wandering about with cigarettes and green bottles in hand jeering as you pass by “fine sister how far now…”
No judgements at all, I mind my business, so I expect everybody else doing same with theirs. Unfortunately, the irony of the world we live in; everybody wants to know what you are in to, especially when they think you are “so different”. Certainly there were prying eyes, and a whole lot more, but I thought as long as I wasn’t looking for anyone’s trouble, I was good.
Anyway, I got robbed at some point – a-midnight, at gun-point, break-in-kind of robbery. They made away with most valuable item we had, thank God for life, else I wouldn’t be here writing this. After the incident, my sister and I stood there in disarray wandering if what just happened was real; confusion, questions.. why us? We didn’t have much anyway, so why strip us off the little? One thing I know best to do when in a difficult or confusing state is to worship, so we did just that… We decided to channel all the anxiety, fear and questions to the one who understood it all – God.
Days, weeks, after the incident, I feared the streets, I dreaded my house and neighborhood… but where else would I go? (😔). We had to be more conservative in our movements, concealing a lot more; not going out if we didn’t need to, for fear of being noticed and probably attacked again. But no matter how much I tried to “hide”, I literally was walking by them everyday and looking them in the eyes, evidences were too good to be true. These guys weren’t far from us, they had known us too well.
I remembered that same night, as we stood there in confusion, my sister had made a comment “I hope they change their ways soon or they’ll be in trouble”. Dang. True. But how? That statement stood out for me. (🤔) How would they change their ways if they were not apprehended with better ways? How can they change their minds if God’s love is not preached to them? If they are not exposed to truth? (Romans 10:14). I thought about the times when I passed by these guys idling around, and I usually felt the urge and compassion to tell one or two of them about God’s love but I just didn’t. I always saw an unsatisfied need in them that only God could fill if only they knew him, but I didn’t bother introducing Jesus, because I was afraid. I considered times when we casually ignore these urges for whatsoever reason, but on the flip side what if we tried? I mean God put us here so we would be able to reach out and spread his love.
Well, this is the exact same reason I couldn’t seem to “hide” even while trying so hard; I became more noticed, known and sought after.
Have you ever felt this way before in some places you are in? No matter how much you try to stay on the low, it just doesn’t work, you just keep getting noticed. It is for a reason. My pastor once said “the reason for fame is to make Jesus famous” – Pastor Idris Bello Osagie. So how much are you using your popularity or influence for the expansion of the kingdom?
As light of the world, we are to illuminate the dark around us, exposing hidden things, re-directing the course of the blind, putting God’s glory on display, living generously instead of trying to conserve it.
If this speaks to you in some way in whatever sphere you are in, don’t try to dim your light by playing low. Stop trying to hide and just be light. God put you there so that he can spread his goodness through you for his glory.