Jerry Bablyon wrote this article. May he rest in peace and serve with the angels.
What exactly does WWJD? stand for? I’m not talking about the acronym itself which has been around for decades. If asked, almost everyone could tell you that it stands for “What Would Jesus Do?” The question I pose has to do with how that translates into action; into a way of life that determines and directs how we conduct our lives day by day with other people.
WWJD? in this area was born out of the vision of one woman who, like St. Augustine, saw Jesus in the face of a beggar and it transformed his life from one of self-centered indulgence to one of self-giving devotion to his Lord and savior. It has grown from serving the homeless and needy out of the back of a car, to what has now become a six-day-a-week outreach to the homeless in Placer County. Somewhere, Monday through Saturday, people are providing food, clothes, toiletries, sleeping bags, tarps, tents and other items that enable our homeless population to survive especially during the winter months.
But back to my original question; who are these people who take time out of their busy schedules to serve those who don’t even have the basic necessities that you and I take for granted? The answer may surprise you and hopefully will challenge you as well. They are people just like you. They are not saints with halos; they are not priests or ministers or rabbis; they don’t have a theological education; they are just ordinary people. The difference is that they have taken the vision we hear about every Saturday or Sunday from pulpits all over this nation and committed themselves to making it real on the streets where they live.
Weekly we hear that God loves the world and we rejoice that we are included in that number. He wants everyone to hear the message. We say a prayer or turn it over to the “master prayer,” the pastor or priest or saint whose prayers really seem to get through. We see people on the streets who look nothing like us and think how great it would be if someone would do something about poverty in this country, say a little prayer, if it isn’t too inconvenient we hand them what change we can get to quickly and say “God bless you,” and then be on our way.
At this point I’m sure some of you are saying, “This guy is trying to lay a guilt trip on me,” but that is the furthest thing on my mind. I am not talking about YOU in particular; I am talking about most of us in general. I’m talking about people who hear the word of God every week and wholeheartedly agree with it, but don’t have the time to get “involved” in actually doing it. Or maybe, like me, helping people on the street is not your “ministry” or “calling;” after all isn’t that what we pay our “professionals” to do? And that’s where WWJD? enters the picture.
WWJD? is just ordinary people who have decided that even one person can make a difference in the life of at least one other person, because love and service are not a “calling,” they are a choice; a choice to re-prioritize one’s life to give two hours a week to making a difference in the life of someone in need. Or they have decided that they can re-prioritize their giving to include WWJD? so that those who serve will have the resources to care for the needs of others. Just ordinary people who have heard the words of Jesus,
You saw me hungry and you fed me; you saw me naked and you clothed me; you saw me thirsty and you gave me water; you saw me sick and you ministered to me; you saw me in prison and you visited me; well done, enter into the joy of your Lord. And they will say, when did we ever see you hungry, naked, thirsty, sick or in prison and minister to you? And the Lord will say to them, ‘in as much as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you did it to me.’
Jesus’ words tell us that one person can not only make a difference in this world but in the world to come. You are not only important, you are critical to advance God’s kingdom and in changing the nation we love. By volunteering to serve one day a week for two hours; by designating funds to give the food and necessities WWJD? distributes, YOU can make a difference. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, when you stand with Jesus on judgment day, you looked into His face and all of a sudden it became the face of someone you had served every Wednesday in Roseville; or every Thursday in Auburn; or every Tuesday in Colfax; or every Friday in Foresthill.
To hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you are as welcome here as you made me feel when you served me breakfast, gave me clothes and shoes, provided me with enough food to help me get through the day. So the answer to my question is this: WWJD? is you and others like you, who choose to become “doer’s” of the Word not just “hearer’s!”