He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
I don’t know if my parents had a “life verse” that guided their lives together, but if they did it would probably be Micah 6:8. It definitely found its way into my spiritual DNA. I am Micah 6:8 baby. Fathered by a dad who did justice and born of a kindhearted mother who loved mercy.
My father was a school administrator who always took the assignment at the poorest schools in our city. His impact on my life was so significant that my entire life has been directed towards being a person who would stand in the gap between those who have and those who have not.
My first job out of college was as a caseworker advocating for truant middle school youth. The neighborhood that I was assigned to was the HighPoint Housing project. The first 10 kids on my list were youth that dropped out from the middle school that my dad was the vice-principal! Together, we were able to get all of them back into school and many of them and their family members heard the Gospel and made decisions to follow Jesus!
I am the middle child of a “saint”. My mother was the definition of loving-kindness. She would sell Avon products door to door – simply to meet her neighbors and be available to listen to their hearts and meet their needs. I remember her working at a candle factory that employed ex-cons on work release. Her nickname was Tiny for her diminutive stature and next to some of these men she looked like a midget. I remember how each of these men took care of her like she was their own mother.
Our home was used as a sanctuary for my mother to operate in her “Deliverance Ministry”. As a teenager, I found all these strangers coming in and out of our home quite upsetting. One day I remember that I got mad at my mother for bringing all of these weird people into our home. I told her that I was going to tear off the front door and install a revolving door instead!
Little did I realize that many of the times my mother was helping people go through drug and alcohol withdrawals. My brother only knew that when she would start playing an old Gaither tune, “Because He Lives I Can Face Tomorrow” that would be our cue to take cover in the basement until she lovingly cared for them.
So today, when I look at what the Lord requires of me, I am deeply humbled by the Biblical model that my parents displayed in my life. I know that I am the total sum of both my father’s commitment to justice and my mother’s loving-kindness. Therefore, I begin each day in prayer so that I might be able to walk humbly with the Lord.
Who in your life models Jesus to you? What verse in the Bible can give you direction? Take some time this week and pray that the Lord helps you find your “life verse”.