Who are you chained to?
The question was posed in the living room of a vision house on a Haitian nonprofit’s compound.
A missionary who had lived in Haiti for the better part of his life pointed out the obvious – while we all had been impacted by our time in Haiti, none of us were going to drop everything and move there.
"But who are you chained to back home?" He said.
“Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.” (Hebrews 13:3)
“You may not be chained to the people of Haiti, but who are you chained to back home?”
Who has God placed in your life that you are called to love, do life with, and carry?
The question was carried back to Atlanta, but forgotten until late July. After having been a student at Passion City Church for 3 years, I was going to shift from the role of student to leader for our Summer Camp.
One week before the camp I was handed a folder with my name stretched across it – “McKenzie Cunningham – 8th Grade Girls.”
My room consisted of 4 girls making the scary transition from middle school to high school. In the spare moments of that week before, their names would frequently come to mind. They would be prayed for, but it wasn’t until we made it onto the bus that the question came to fruition.
You know, Paul constantly referred to himself as a prisoner in chains. I always took the phrase as being very literal – he was in jail, chained to a stone wall in a Roman prison. He wrote the letters with shackles clanking, wrists rubbed raw by the metal rings.
But after that week of camp, I think Paul included the chains part because he was chained to so many people – he was carrying so many souls, stories, eternities. He felt the weight of glory.
With every session, small group conversation, and free time adventure, I felt the weight of being chained to those 4 precious girls. Every moment with them was a chance to point to Jesus. I ached for them to hear, to see, to experience Jesus.
From the weight came the greatest joy when I saw them worship, express a desire to know Jesus, and encourage each other.
There is such joy in the chains.
I don’t think I had every really experienced such an ache for another person’s soul.
That troubles me to an extent – what does that say about me as a follower of Jesus?
It wasn’t until I was a small group leader at a church camp that I felt such a responsibility to carry people to Jesus.
What about when I’m at school, working on a group project? What when I'm around other believers, inside or outside of church? Will I reflect Christ and feel the weight of the Gospel as much as I did in that week?
I don’t want to limit the question, “Who are you chained to?” to a week of church camp or a mission trip – I want to carry that question and the weight of the gospel with me everywhere I go because I know of the reward and the joy to come.