v3_2016_ whom_God_sends

Whom God Sends

Over the last several years, I (and many others) have spent a great deal of time pondering Luke 10:1-12. We have noted how Luke’s context is similar to our own. We have wrestled with how counterintuitive, how countercultural the instructions to the seventy-two “sent ones”—and us—are.
The following prayerful ponderation has come out of such dwelling on this text—actually, on the first two words alone: After this. Over the last month, I’ve ruminated on these words in my journal, my day-to-day encounters, my shared experiences, and when sharing stories. They seem to be applicable to lots of situations and keep showing up over and over again.
I have tried to imitate the tradition of early Rabbis who created Midrashim to reflect on, apply, and live out the significance of Biblical texts. I have arranged some of my ruminations poetically in hopes that as you read and ponder them you will be moved to add and share your “After this” responses, prayers, and thoughts.

After this…

by Karen Wilk

After this…
Failure to love

I avoided my neighbor today.

I saw her out of the corner of my eye and turned the other way.

After this?

We knocked on the door only to learn that her husband had passed about six months ago.

We didn’t know.

No one on our street knew.

After this?

I was trimming a tree out front and felt a tap on my shoulder.

I looked around and there was a little old lady standing there.

She said, “I’m moving tomorrow, and after thirty-seven years in this neighborhood, I just thought someone should know.”

After this?

The violence in the Middle East—

ISIS, refugees, disasters, and criminality

Bombs, boasts, bribes, and brutality

Our racism, prejudice, and hypocrisy

After this?

The havoc wreaked on Your beautiful creation


The poverty—physical, emotional, relational, spiritual

We ignore or avoid

or allow

Our greed, materialism, selfishness, pride

After this?
You appoint and send us.
You appoint and send us?!

After we argue over who’s the greatest

After we claim Your Name for ourselves

To the exclusion of others

After we want to torch the whole village


After we make so many excuses

We’re still making excuses.

After this?

Forgive us, Lord.

For we know not what we do.

Or do we? Sometimes we do…

And we still do–or don’t when we should.

Though our sins be as scarlet, make us white as snow.

Help us to forgive ourselves

and one another

and sometimes our neighbors

Though truth be told

It’s likely we need their forgiveness more than they need ours.

Remove the logs from our eyes that we might humbly come alongside those with specks in theirs.

After this
May we know

Why You came

Why You lived among

How You showed us the Way

How much we needed You

Need You

To live

To love

God WITH us

After this

We know

May we know

You died for us

What burdens You bear

What grace You give

What love You share

After this

May we know

You rose from the grave

And continue to choose to hang out with us

To use us

To love us

To make us part of Your Story

—after this!

And you fill us with Your Love



After this

Renew us again and again

Restore us – Send us

That we might remain

After this.

After this

I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands.

After this

I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power to our God, for his judgments are true and just.

After this…
Amen and amen.
Christ sends us…but never alone. Join a community of coaches & fellow church planters!

About the Author

Dr. Karen Wilk

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