I remember stepping out of Gare du Nord, the main train station in Paris and wondering where to go next. We had arrived in the city on a mission to pray for and support the homeless community living there. If we had turned right out of the station, we would have journeyed towards the Eiffel Tower, sipped coffee in a Parisian cafe and taken photos worth of an Instagram highlight reel. But we turned left, and the roads looked starkly different.
As we walked down the street in search of our destination, we noticed young children begging for money and families living on dirty mattresses. The deprivation felt worlds away from the tourist city we knew existed just a few miles up the street.
We watched as passers by ignored their cries for help. Diverting their eyes, they walked quickly towards their destination. I wondered if they would rather be that Parisian cafe, sipping coffee, ignoring the injustice in front of their eyes.
I found myself beginning to judge their intentions as they turned the music in their headphones up louder or averted their eyes, but how often do we miss Jesus’ heart for justice?
As we prayed over the people we encountered, we began to understand the mercy Jesus pours out for those that society has cast aside. Verse 8 in Isaiah is personified in Jesus throughout the New Testament, as He continually sought to redeem those that were considered dirty. Jesus was always for the least of us, and we were humbled and convicted as we heard the stories from the homeless community on Parisian streets.
It was tempting to turn right out of the station, towards the comfortable cafes and the tourist attractions, but as followers of Jesus, we are called to travel the narrow path. These streets are less travelled, less attractive and uncomfortable. They often require humility, sacrifice and resilience. But they are also the place where Jesus can most often be found, serving and loving the least of us.
I hope, if I ever go back to Gare du Nord train station, that I would turn left, seeking to reveal more of God’s heart for justice. My prayer for us is that we would choose the road less travelled more often than we choose comfort.
How can you pursue the road less travelled today, in order to share more of God’s heart for justice?
We invite you to join us as we journey slowly and prayerfully through Isaiah 61 - line by line over forty days.