It’s been happening for a while now, this stirring in my soul that something just isn’t right. A feeling that we’re living in discord, a feeling like we say one thing but then do another. A feeling that tells me what I already know but often try to squelch deeper so I don’t have to face the truth behind the nudge.
The further up, further in I walk, the more I realize a hard truth: Jesus isn’t here in the flesh anymore. He needs us to do what He would do if He were still physically present on this earth.
This is a hard truth because sometimes I don’t want to do what Jesus did. Jesus didn’t care about comfort, convenience, or himself AT. ALL. The ugliness within my heart really, really does.
And the stirrings of new beginnings can be scary because the unknown is always a little bit frightening.
I am a white, middle class woman with three children and a husband who provides well for his family. My days fill-up with writing and speaking, tasks that need to be done for my kids’ school, maintaining a home and other stuff too trivial to even mention.
But admittedly, rarely do I fill my time up with reaching past the insular bubble we’ve created – and I cannot tell you how much it hurts to type this. Worse, I’ve been to Ghana, West Africa . . . I’ve seen suffering.
I’ve always had a passion for putting skin on the gospel – for reaching out to others who are shunned and show them love instead of hate. For encouraging a woman who hasn’t been encouraged in years. For teaching little ones about Jesus because, after all, they’re the future.
Yet consistently over-and-over throughout scripture, we’re told to care for four groups of people: the oppressed, the widows, the orphans, and the poor.
What we do to the least of these, we do to Him.
(Me in Ghana, West Africa, 2011)
I remember a few years ago, I read something by Jen Hatmaker that explained when we do Bible study after Bible study, and go to women’s luncheons and retreats and whatever else is going on within the church, we’re feasting. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with studying the Bible; in fact, we should. And no, there’s nothing wrong with women’s events or other activities sponsored by the church.
Sometimes we need to fast.
Sometimes we need to take the knowledge we are learning in our Bible studies and go put some skin on it.
So it’s no accident (is it ever?) God led me to select Rhinestone Jesus as our next book club selection because this is exactly what happened with author Kristen Welch when she traveled to Kenya four years ago as a Compassion International blogger.
In Chapters Four, Five, and Six, Kristen explains how this trip awakened out of the “living for me” daze. In Kenya, she had been exposed to a level of suffering she had previously only heard about many, many miles away.
But then she walked through the streets of a slum in Kenya, with raw sewage floating in nearby streams, plagued by unfathomable poverty and children raising children because parents have died from AIDS, and then . . . Things changed.
So when Kristen returned, she realized she couldn’t return to business as usual. She couldn’t continue to spend too much at Target or go back to only feasting and never fasting. She had been forever changed.
So she started to dream and then God led her to a young woman who helped Kristen connect the dots: she would begin a maternity home for pregnant young girls in Kenya . . .
Our family sponsors a child who lives in Tanzania through Compassion International and I cannot even begin to tell you how transformational their work really is in the lives of children living in third world countries. It literally saves its sponsored children’s lives.
I also recently became a blogger for Compassion because I am passionate about getting these children sponsored. Compassion children are given health and medical care, educational opportunities, hygiene training and supplementary food as well as a caring and safe Christian environment to grow in self-confidence and social skills. They also receive personal attention, guidance and love. All for only $38 a month.
When you sponsor a child through Compassion, you aren’t just helping to transform a child; you’re helping to transform a nation.
Would you prayerfully consider sponsoring a child? If you’re already sponsor, can you sponsor one more?
Also, will you also help Compassion get the word out? Sharing the below video helps raise awareness; I would be beyond grateful if you passed it along in your social media circles.
Our questions this week are below . . . Please pick at least one to answer in the comments!
1. What is your “sweet spot”? What comes easily and naturally to you?
2. What do you believe God put you on the planet to do?
3. What is stopping you from doing the things you love?
4. How can you take your “sweet spot” and accomplish even more for God?
First of all, I loved: “The further up, further in I walk, the more I realize a hard truth: Jesus isn’t here in the flesh anymore. He needs us to do what He would do if He were still physically present on this earth.” Truth! :)
I have recently realized that I think my spiritual gift is encouragement. I do it well with the people I interact with on a regular basis. I need to work on being better with encouraging random people. I’m kind of shy though, so it’s a struggle. :)