Last week I was Skyping with a good friend who is part of the leadership in the church in Italy we've been a part of. I mentioned him in a recent article that he was developing the Italian version of the BLESS acronym we've been using.
Francesco told the story of a recent discussion with a friend as they were looking at some plants. I can't retell the story accurate to the detail, but you'll get the gist of it. Francesco's friend remarked how tall and abundant the asparagus was.
Francesco is one of you types who actually likes asparagus. In fact, he loves it. So, he was eager to find where the asparagus was.
Francesco asked, "What asparagus? I don't see any asparagus. All I see is this bush. There's no asparagus here."
"You just need to look," his friend replied.
"I'm looking! I don't see asparagus!"
The friend redirected, "You're too high, where the tops would be. Look down where the stalks are. Look there and you'll see."
Francesco did as told, and sure enough ... asparagus! The man who craved asparagus found a great abundance of asparagus in his own yard! It had been there the whole time for who knows how long. But he never got to enjoy the asparagus (which, of course, is actually impossible) because he wasn't aware it was there. Not only did he not know where to look, he didn't even know that he should be looking.
Francesco used this illustration to talk about BLESS (or for his church, PREGA). His point is very simple. We take the Great Commission and we start looking way far afield (as we should), and we sometimes can't really find what we're looking for. But the Great Commission is also right there in our own back yard! Our neighbors, our friends, our relatives, the parents of our kids' fellow students, our coworkers, etc. They are right there.
We just need to know where to look, but more importantly, that we should be looking.
Yes, the Great Commission applies to the nations around the world or the other parts of the city where people are somewhat different than you. The field is "up high." But the field is also "down low," right next door. The field is already there ... we just need to open our eyes to see.
(Image credit: By Rasbak - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=223975)