Hello, friends! I’ve missed you! (It’s okay if you didn’t miss me. I’ll never know.)
Just gonna get something off my chest right off the bat. Today was one big giant pity party. Thrown by me. In honor of me. And no one came but me.
But thanks to my friend Sandi and my amazing husband and my forgiving, resilient children, I think I’ve packed up the party favors and am ready to move on.
Did Chapter 6 step on your toes? It didn’t step on mine. Because the giving and the letting go of stuff and the living with less? That’s not what I struggle with. God has (painstakingly) worked a lot of those kinks out already in my life.
But all I have to do is substitute the money/possessions thing with “time” or “reputation/popularity” or “career/success” or “doing things my way” or a host of other blahblah, and there’s my ouch.
I loved Chapter 6. I nodded and amen-ed and said “Yes!” and “I’m in!” and “Bring it!” But I find myself totally overwhelmed by the need and my lack of resources to make a dent in any of it.
I exchanged an e-mail with this sweet gal today (Read her blog! You won’t regret it!) I was sharing with her the beginnings of an idea I had–a way to bring some hope to the dear women she works with in Haiti. This is part of what she said in reply: It’s beyond hard in this country, but when God reminds me that He is busy advocating for Haiti, grabbing the hearts of strangers far away, it brings me such encouragement and peace. Your email today was one such reminder that God has not forgotten this place, these women, and Haiti’s children.
And I felt warm and fuzzy for a minute. And then overwhelmed all over again by the scope of the poverty in this world.
But I have a renewed sense of purpose right this very minute. I can’t do it all, but I can do something. I can pray. And I can spread the word about people in need. And I can encourage people to donate Expecting books. And I can sponsor a little girl in Mexico and hopefully one in Thailand. I can pray. I can sell things to help people who have nothing. I can team up with people at my new church to reach out to those who have been marginalized right here in our community. I can pray. I can save my book/speaking $ for a trip to Cambodia. I can hold that $ loosely in case God wants to use it for something else.
I can pray.
Once again, I could copy impactful quotes until I’m blue in the face, but you’ve (hopefully) read the chapter. You know what it says. I do love this one though:
“We are discovering the joy of a radical gospel inside us that produces radical fruit outside of us. And as we meet needs on earth, we are proclaiming a gospel that transforms lives for eternity. The point is not simply to meet a temporary need or change a startling statistic; the point is to exalt the glory of Christ as we express the gospel of Christ through the radical generosity of our lives” (135).
Meeting people’s physical needs and meeting their spiritual needs goes hand in hand. And I so desperately want my life to be characterized by radical generosity in every sense of the phrase.
And this quote moved me to tears the first time I read it: “We learned that orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes” (139).
Yes it does.
Father, break my heart for what breaks yours. Empty me for your kingdom’s cause. Whatever the cost, I want to give my all for you. And for the least of these. Oh, God, don’t let us waste our lives.
1. What excited/scared/overwhelmed you about Chapter 6?
2. Did you take issue/feel bothered by/question the truth of anything he said?
3. Anything specific God has laid on your heart to do in the days/weeks ahead?