Sunday, October 14, 2012

Doing Something!


Something or someone has been tugging at my heart for quite some time now.  When I sat down to try to discern when this all started I came to the conclusion it was probably when my oldest child took a one week long trip to Panama about 10 years ago.  She came home a changed person with a heart for the impoverished, under-privileged peoples of the world.  She felt an overwhelming desire to
“do something”.  She questioned why spend so much money on her own education when others lived in subservient conditions.  She wanted to quit school, go into the world and use her gifts and abilities to make a difference “NOW”.  As her parents, we listened as she shared her heart and then encouraged her to stay the course she was on and assured her that to make a difference it would be best to finish her studies, continue on to medical school and hone her gifts and abilities to be even more useful by God in the lives of people.  We essentially told her to “wait” by continuing on the present course.  

After that initial exposure to a worldview God has continued to draw my eyes up and away from myself.  My other children have traveled outside of our country’s borders and I have vicariously experienced the world through them.  I have “loved” a Kenyan little boy receiving his first pair of new shoes.  I have been “hugged” by a grateful Ugandan woman receiving medical attention.  I have “seen” the mountains of northern Italy.  I have been given the opportunity to invest in the education of a refugee man's daughters.

My heart was tugged through these experiences but then the past year the tug intensified to a yank!  Twice I have listened as Jen Hatmaker shared the journey she has been on through ministering to the homeless in her community, adopting two precious children from Ethiopia, partnering with others to raise funds for home building in Haiti and most recently, traveling to Haiti to interact with the people there. Her words challenged me to consider my own personal involvement in the lives of the afflicted, both here and abroad.  Each time I returned home from the conferences convinced I needed to “do something”.  (Sound familiar?) 

This past month my book club read Daughters of Hope, real life stories of women who live in parts of the world where not only is it difficult to be a woman but it is life threatening to be a Christian woman.  I hesitated to even start reading the book because I knew this would not be a casual read.  I was going to learn things that would affect my heart.  And just as I suspected, the book lassoed my heart, drug it to the ground and hog-tied it in true rodeo fashion. 

The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back came a few days later when I finished the book Radical by David Platt.  In it, the author “challenges Christians to wake up…and embrace the notion that each of us is blessed by God for a global purpose.” (quote from book cover) 

The summation of all these experiences has me feeling helpless, frustrated, compelled to “do something” about the injustices of the world.  I feel like I am in a “spinning my wheels and getting no where” frame of mind.  What does God expect me to do with all this knowledge?  I am convinced that God is going to hold me responsible for this information.  I want to be a good steward of what I now know.  I cannot, with a clear conscience, put it all back on the shelf, say “Now, wasn’t that interesting” and go on about my "Mary" way.  God is not going to let me turn a blind eye to the people in need in this world. 

I have called out to God asking Him:

"What do You want me to do with all this information?!?!" 

"How can someone like me even begin to make a dent in the injustices of our world?!?!" 

"It is all so big, God, and I am so little!!!"

And He has answered my cries!  No, we are not selling it all, packing what’s left and heading to the jungle.  And we are not adopting!!!

No, I am praying.  

Now that might sound somewhat anticlimactic after all the steam I have been building up.  And I, too, thought that prayer didn’t sound like “doing something”.  I like to see tangible evidence that my efforts have accomplished something.  I like to stand back and admire the sparkling kitchen sink after applying some elbow grease.  I like to see the empty clothes hamper after the last load has been folded.  But James 5:16 says that “the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”  

Prayer is “doing”.

David Platt in “Radical” closes the book with a challenge that includes to pray for ENTIRE world in the next year.  I am taking that challenge.  I realize that if I am not willing to commit to plead the case of the afflicted before the throne of God I cannot expect to be used to “do something” more.   God says, “Just do Step 1, Mary.  We will talk about Step 2 later.”  If there even IS a Step 2 for me.  No matter.  Today I will pray for a small group of people in Honduras using PrayerPoint from Samaritan’s Purse and for those in Russia, following the guidelines from Operation World.   And I publicly state here that I will pray for the world in the next 365 days.  I will “wait “ on the Lord by continuing on the present course.  I will be content to not “see” the results of my labor but to trust the truth of God’s Word that my prayers can accomplish much.  I will not sit on the knowledge that He has entrusted to me. I will not spin my wheels any longer.


No comments:

Post a Comment