Could We Do Better?

On Saturday while the boys were napping and Matt was puttering about I took advantage for some time to myself. I went to the bookstore and walked around the mall and tried on every ugly bathing suit known to man.

(I cannot find a not-ugly bathing suit. I don’t think it’s me, guys. I really don’t.)

I am a chronic people-watcher, especially when I’m not having to keep my eyes on two little boys.

When I pass someone, I usually make eye contact and give a smile or Hi.

I passed a girl, smiled, was given the once-over.

Passed others, smiled, received some smiles in return.

Then there was this girl who has stuck in my head.

She was probably about 16. She wobbled unsurely and a little awkwardly on high heels that didn’t quite match the atmosphere of the mall. She glanced down at her chest, tugging her shirt down self-consciously, then smoothing it out over her stomach. She glanced quickly around, probably wondering if anybody was watching.

Probably simultaneously hoping someone was and terrified of it too.

In that moment she personified for me what cripples us as girls, women, tweens, teens.

I can’t tell you how many women events I’ve been at and how many women I’ve noticed standing alone. Looking out, wondering if anybody notices them. While others stand about, perhaps in a group, but also wondering if anybody notices them. Their hands quickly smooth their shirt out, suck their stomach in, pull their skirt down or pants up, fluff hair, check make-up. Everything communicating me. Am I being noticed? Am I important? Am I pretty? Are others impressed by me?

All the while missing the life that’s being lived right around them.

All the while overlooking that girl that stands alone because she doesn’t know anybody else and is terrified this will be just one more instance where she’s on the outside looking in, hoping somebody picks her to be on their team.

Missing that woman who just lost her husband and is wearing a brave, but fake, smile.

Missing that woman whose husband just left her, whose kid just moved out of state, whose parent just died.

Because I feel uncomfortable in the outfit I picked out or the zit that popped up or the bad haircut I just got.

Women, ladies, friends, we need to make up our mind before we ever get to that place, especially church, that it is not about me. It is not about the way I look or feel or talk.

I have a lot of weaknesses (a lot) but self-consciousness is not usually one. Not because there’s anything spectacular in me but because I often pray before I ever get to that event, whatever it is, Lord, please fill me with your Spirit. Please use me as a blessing in someone else’s life today. Please give me your eyes to see people through, and your heart to love people like you do.

Jesus will absolutely open our eyes to the life and the needs that are so close we could reach out and hug them. Jesus wants to use us to speak that encouraging word for someone who’s dying to hear she’s valuable and worth his life dying for. He wants to use us to give that hug to the one who’s had the worst day in a long time, to simply be his hands and feet.

Let’s start seeing others through Jesus’ eyes and loving like he does. The same Jesus who stopped what he was doing and halted where he was going and healed the blind beggar that the disciples were trying to shush because he was interrupting their agenda. The agenda that didn’t include uncomfortable situations and dirty people. (See Mark 10.)

Your uncomfortable interruption (and mine too) may very well be exactly the thing God wants you to do today in His Name and for His glory.

“Our churches are filled with people who outwardly look contented and at peace but inwardly are crying out for someone to love them…just as they are – confused, frustrated, often frightened, guilty, and often unable to communicate even within their own families. But the other people in the church look so happy and contented that one seldom has the courage to admit his own deep needs before such a self-sufficient group as the average church meeting appears to be.”
Keith Miller, The Taste of New Wine
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Spurs and Jonah

You know that verse that says, “and let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24)?

I’ve realized that there are usually two types of people.

Those that truly spur you on; they’re encouraging, loving, infectious, authentic.

And those who take their spurs and stab them into your clavicle and drag you to “love” and “good deeds” if they have to kill you to do it. Think Inquisition, screamy preachers, self-righteousy people.

Thankfully I’ve only ever been in the first group.

(Ahh, I’m laughing so hard right now I can hardly type.)

(Actually, I’m not laughing at all, I’m only really sad that that’s so not true.)

Matt and I did a marriage study several years ago and one of the things the guy said is that many of us are motivated by “inner vows” and we don’t even know it. For example…

I’ll never turn down my kids’ request to play a game with them the way my dad did with me.

I’ll never trust anybody again, I’ve been wronged too many times.

I’ll never let my spouse see how much they hurt me, the way so-and-so did.

I’ll never be weak and let somebody use me, like who-and-who.

See? Anything ranging from the silly to the serious.

But here’s what hit me today. Inner vows never work because they’re spurred on by anger. And anger only lasts for so long before it blows up like the Atomic Bomb over Peoplelandia, leaving wreckage and debris on everyone within a 75-mile radius.

When we’re spurred on by love, the result is good deeds.

Even when our triggers are trigged.

Even when so-and-so and who-and-who do me wrong again and are simply unloveable. Or don’t react the way I thought they should.

If our motivation is to show them what’s what, then it’s gonna come to a screeching halt the moment that secondary trigger is set. See?

No good.

I don’t want to play a game with my son because I’m gonna show him. I want to play a game with my son because I love him and want to love what he loves and spend time with him.

I don’t want to always be strong so I can “fool” other people. (Nobody’s fooled except the fool). I want to be strong in Christ’s strength so I can be a refreshing glass of cold water to somebody who desperately needs a helping hand. Even if I end up wronged or hurt or betrayed.

Because Love always protects. Always trusts. Always hopes. Always perseveres.

It’s just sometimes I’m so far from what I want to be true about me that it’s debilitating. I’m reading an amazing book right now called Glorious Mess, and Mike Howerton, the author, talks about this very thing. It’s when we sbumit to God and return to him in the middle of our mess that he is ultimately glorified, kind of like Jonah.

Jonah’s response and ultimate return to God was not pretty and it did not have a pretty spiritual bow attached to the top. It was painful and messy and all of us on the outside are yelling, What’s your problem, you idiot, we all know how the story ends, just do what God told you to do!

Um, yeah. Except here’s the thing. Jonah wasn’t on the outside reading through the book of Jonah while he sipped his coffee reading how the story ended. Jonah was living his life when God invaded, if you will, and told him to do something that he absolutely did not want to do.

Yes, I can so relate.

So, Jonah runs and fights and checks out (hello, sleeping below deck while a storm is about to kill everyone on board!). All par for the course for the average Joe-slash-Julia.

Mike makes a great point. Oftentimes when we consider God’s call on our lives we think vocationally. Missionary, nurse, pastor, stay-at-home mom, etc. But God’s call more often involves us becoming more like him than what we do for him. So we’re also running from God’s call when we are proud rather than humble. Rude rather than kind. Impatient rather than forbearing. Deceitful rather than forthright.

I also heard recently in a sermon that scripturally, God’s call is 95% who you are and only 5% what you actually do.

(Please don’t attack me over the actual percentages, I’m just paraphrasing and I hate math.)

I’m in a season of wanting to check out. I want to sleep below deck while everybody else fights for the faith.

When we are not right with God, storms are everywhere. When we run from God, relationships stop working, friendships are shallow, family life is sticky, the future seems unclear and stormy. Your personal attitude is in a shaky place, so you have to try and distract yourself and find false substitutes to make yourself feel better. You are running from God’s best. You don’t have peace, but you’re lulling your soul to sleep, medicating your soul with any number of distractions.
-excerpt from Glorious Mess

Get out of my head, already! Jerk.

God, in his kindness, always in his kindness, is not letting me sleep. I cannot turn any direction without confronting his interventions. Do you know why it’s so hard to turn back sometimes?

Because oftentimes it means I have to tell somebody I’m sorry. I’ve been proud. I’ve been arrogant. I’ve had one hand clasped around the Sequoia tree in my eye, whilst I’ve manhandled the tweezers for the splinter in yours. I’m sorry, I’ve been wrong.

Easy to say in your head, not so easy to say to somebody who’s hurt you. Know what I mean? But God’s way is always best. And he relentlessly pursues us to save us from our sin as much as to save us from ourselves.

Let us turn back and spur one another on toward love and good deeds.

Happiness

You know what’s hard sometimes? Being a parent.

You know what else is hard most of the time? Being a human.

I can’t remember the last time I thought, Oh my gosh, everything is amazing at all times, always, all the time, forever and ever!

I can remember the last time my heart burst from happiness though.

Last night I sat on the couch nursing my favorite 7 month old. As he always does, he stared intently at me while stroking my skin with his chubby fingers. I watched Micah help Matt bring the groceries in from the car. Every time Matt handed Micah an item to carry, Micah would say, Thank YOU, (insert a lilt on the “you”) and so proudly carry it in, hefting with all his might to lift it to the counter.

Seriously, I wondered if it was possible to be happier than I was in that moment.

Being a parent is hard sometimes, but that’s because everything in life is hard sometimes.

But I can’t remember the last time my heart burst from happiness the way it does on a regular basis when I’m with my three favorite guys.

I wouldn’t trade this life for anything. Sometimes Matt and I joke, Were we even happy before we had kids?!

And that’s coming from two crazy adventurers who on a monthly, or every monthly, basis were jetting off someplace vacationy.

We were happy. We were crazy happy. We’re just happier now. 

Yes, we have times of sleep deprivation, days of frustration, blah, blah, blah. But I also have two beautiful little boys to kiss and snuggle at the end of the day, which is more than I can say for anything else.

Seriously, can you imagine happiness without these two faces?

Known

First, some very important matters.

I think you’ll be comforted to know that I have a fairly limited wardrobe.

(Why that would comfort you is beyond me, but I don’t make the rules, I just follow them.)

My weekly wardrobe rotates between approximately 3 outfits. Blue fleece sweater with jeans. Black fleece sweater with jeans. Other blue fleece sweater with jeans. And if I’m feeling particularly crazy I’ll mix it up. Grey shirt and fleece sweater with jeans. And if I’m feeling even crazier, I’ll throw on a pair of earrings.

On a routine basis I will stare into my closet full of clothes and cry aloud (much to Matt’s great delight), I don’t have anything to wear! 

And then I’ll pick out a fleece sweater and jeans and all is well again.

On a related note, I dreamed last night that I was in an awful car accident because of snowy weather conditions. In real life right now our heater is set to 70. It’s like I can’t escape the nightmares. My thoughts are dark towards all of you that walk in warmth.

Micah fell down a flight of stairs two days ago. It was terrifying since I saw the whole thing happen. And being one second too late is still too late. He’s got a bruise the side of Indiana on his forehead to show for it. Poor baby.

I met a friend for coffee last night and it was wonderful to catch up. It feels so good to be known, doesn’t it? One of the most comforting things about the Lord to me is how known I am by him. I don’t have to explain myself or figure myself out or wade through difficult explanations.

“You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it all together.”
Psalm 139:2-4

Sometimes I simply say, Lord, I’m hurt/frustrated/angry/afraid and I’m not even sure why. I think I know but I don’t know how to put it into words. Thank you that you know exactly what I mean and understand it more than I do. 

Isn’t that great that we can do that with the Lord? I read the most amazing thing in my study yesterday.

1st Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.”

Okay, how’s that for a light burden? Reason 5,472 to feel like I’m not getting it right.

No, no, no. First, I have to continually remind myself that my purpose in life is not to get it “right.” It’s to walk with the Lord, to know him. 2nd Corinthians 3:18 tells me that as I gaze upon him (fixate on him) then I am transformed into his likeness. Not when I check things off my Spiritual To-Do List.

Have you ever been around a contagious person? They have the flu…next day you wake up with fire in your limbs and hatred in your heart.

Or, you’re around someone who is happy, winsome, funny, and you find yourself smiling more often, perhaps even making a joke, feeling a little less sad.

As we spend time with the Lord and fill our minds and heart with his Word, we began to catch it. So this idea of praying continually is not meant to be a burden. In fact, listen to what my study says.

This word (“continually”) was used in the Greek world to refer to the lingering persistency of a hacking cough. “Just as a person with a hacking cough is not always audibly coughing though the tendency to cough is always there, so the Christian who prays without ceasing is not always praying audibly and yet prayer is always the attitude of his heart and life.”

Now this I can relate with. Hacking cough. Prayer. Yes.

Oh, the comforts of knowing Christ. Being known. Continual communion. Peace. Forgiveness. New life. New hope. Purpose.

May you find new life in Him.

Peace and Love

You know what I’m continually learning?

(Besides that when that thing, that whatever-it-is-that-seizes-me, that produces in me that insidious need to find a pair of scissors and start “trimming” my bangs, Micah’s hair, Asher’s hair, that I need to just walk away. Walk. Away. It’s so simple, but I’m just now learning.)

(Asher, consequently, now looks like the newest recruit to the United States Army.)

But besides that, you know what else I’m learning?

That just because it’s what God wants and has for me doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy or always feel right.

Know what I mean? I think sometimes I subconsciously think that when it’s what God wants, then it’s going to be easy-peezy, and everything at all times will be wonderful and amazing. My feelings are going to confirm it because then I’ll have that feeling of peace and well-being.

I’m not sure exactly where that comes from because I don’t find it in Scripture.

I do read that Jesus gives us a peace that the world doesn’t give, and that we’ll have his peace that transcends understanding. But do you know what those verses are saying? That, in spite of, and because of our circumstances we’ll have peace that’s un-understandable, and it’ll make sense why it’s not peace that the world could give, because the world’s peace is circumstantial.

The peace he gives will be so remarkable because our circumstances would otherwise naturally warrant fear, anxiety, distrust, unbelief. But, in Christ, we can still have rest in our hearts. Peace.

When I consider that the early Christians and writers of the books of the New Testament faced terrifying circumstances as a part of life because of their belief in Christ, it further leads me to believe that belief in Christ does not mean absence of unpleasantries, if you will. Or discomfort, as many of us 21st-century American believers like to avoid like the rabid plague. It means in-the-middle-of, in-spite-of peace.

I was reflecting tonight on instances in my life where, if I had used my feelings as my guide, I would have actually missed out on exactly what God wanted for me. Like, for example, my favorite gift ever.

Matt and I had been dating for only a couple of months when suddenly I was sure that I did not want this relationship. I liked him, but I was terrified I was making a huge mistake. In perfect hindsight I clearly see that I was just ascared because I couldn’t control all the what-ifs and I was still pretty soured from a previous relationship gone bad and Matt couldn’t promise me that we would be missionaries in Argentina for the rest of our lives. (True story.) But at the time I was sure I was making the right decision to call the troops back.

I remember so clearly sitting with him in his car on that one spot by the golf course, looking out over Durango, and telling him, I just don’t think this is what I want. I need a break. Being the confident man that he is, he said, Ok, well let me know what you decide.

(That seemed rather callous to me, so I was a tad consoled when I later found out that he was actually super depressed and aimlessly walked around Wal-mart, which, if you know my husband, is like fiery ants upon oozing sores upon feral cats.)

(And, if he had reacted desperately, that would’ve sealed the deal, effective immediately. No sir, no desperadoes wanted here.)

We took our break, but since we had already planned a trip for me to meet his family in Texas at the end of that week, I decided I would not be a total jerk and still go, even though I really didn’t want to because I was just sure that he wasn’t right for me.

Somewhere, sometime, somehow over the course of that week in Texas, meeting his mom (whom I now love with all my heart and soul and mind), being introduced to his friends and Texas life, I fell head over heels in love with him. Seriously, it was just that fast and amazing.

In Texas that fateful trip

We were married 6 months later, and we’ve never looked back. 5 years and 2 kids later, I continue to see that I couldn’t have married a better man.

I’m so glad I didn’t ultimately let my feelings and desire for the world’s peace (perfect circumstances, perfect people, perfect answers) rob me of the best husband ever.

Don’t let your feelings deceive you and keep you from what the Lord wants to do in your life. You may miss out on your most favorite gift ever.

Being Terrified

I went to college at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. One of the most beautiful places on earth. Just the memories of my college years make me feel warm and fuzzy. I had full scholarships and so with the exception of two summers, I didn’t have to work. My roommates were my best friends and we eeked out every last bit of fun to be had.

FLC is a secular campus and, I think it’s safe to say, pretty hostile to Christianity. Awesome. Seriously, I mean that. It was the best place I could be. If we grow up around people who think the same way we do and that’s all we ever know, how do we learn to engage others of different beliefs, right?

I was very involved in our campus Christian club and we were extensively discipled and grown up in the Christian faith. We were taught a lot of  Apologetics, which, simply put, is giving a sound, reasonable explanation for the Christian faith. (Of which there are many.)

Paul says in the last part of 1st Peter 3:15, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

My friends, there are so many sound, reasonable arguments for the existence of God and the validity of the Bible, it’s amazing. It blows my mind.

Anyhoo.

My senior year I was in a Sociology class and I asked the teacher if I could share my faith with the class at the end of the semester. I had shared my faith before in other classes but this was the first time I had asked for a specific time in the class to do it.

She said yes (I loved this teacher, it still makes me smile to think of her) and decided that she would leave the whole last class open for everyone to share whatever they wanted to share about themselves. The days leading up to this class were exciting. I remember asking Austin and Laura and Nate and Erin to please be praying during the specific time of the class. I also asked a friend along to be with me during it.

Once the actual day came I was literally sick to my stomach with fear. I felt nauseous. I was about to tell a class of 25 students that we are sinful, there is only one way to God and that’s through Jesus Christ, and that we are without excuse as Romans 1 tells us because even Creation bears Him witness. That’s all soda pops and butterflies when you’re sitting in your Sunday School class but when you’re sitting in a classroom with people of wildly different beliefs (of which I’d heard throughout the semester), it’s rather terrifying.

Because let’s face it, none of us likes to be disliked. We all want others’ approval to some extent. I’d had a great time in that class and enjoyed my fellow classmates and teacher, and I didn’t want to end it with them thinking I was a fundamentalist crazy.

In 2nd Corinthians 12, Paul says that he would boast in his weakness because God’s grace is sufficient for him and that His power is made perfect in weakness.

I was so weak in myself. I had no confidence in me pulling it off. I think I said something to the Lord along the lines of, You’re going to have to do this, I’m terrified.

Class started. The time came. I opened my mouth in faith and spoke words of Truth that I believe are the surest all of creation has ever known.

Friends, it was a defining faith moment in my life and one I think about regularly. The presence of the Holy Spirit was so pervasive that once I began speaking, it was as if He took over and spoke Himself to people that He loves more deeply than they could ever fathom.

I didn’t leave one thing out. And once I finished there was complete silence. For probably a good 30 seconds, which is a long time when you’re waiting for that first stone to be cast.

But the most amazing thing about it was there were no stones. In fact, I could see on their faces this openness and genuine questioning and they even did have some questions for me. It was something that only the Lord could have done. And I hope I see some of those students in Eternity one day.

So, on this Faith-Filled Friday, I remind myself of God’s power in our weakness. I remind myself that when I am “strong” in myself, I am missing out on dimensions of God’s power in my life that I can only see in my weakness. And I remind you of what my friend, Nate, said this morning:

In Acts 10:42-43 Peter preaches a simple gospel. When sharing your faith, don’t be so worried about what you say as that you say it. It’s not our intelligence that saves people, it’s the power of Christ.

Be weak in yourself but strong in Christ.

Something You Need to Know

Ok. So I thought if we are going to get to know one another like this, there are some things you need to know. Full disclosure.

(Be kind.)

I have a mouse in my garage as we speak. I opened the garage door, it ran in, I screamed, Micah screamed a sympathy-scream, and now my life foundations are crumbly. If you call and I fail to answer, call 911. I’m most likely passed out on the garage floor.

I cannot use pens that are missing their cap. I simply cannot. Their incompleteness harms my fragile sense of wholeness.

I killed a spider the size of my pinky nail yesterday using approximately 22 wadded up paper towels and I still had a near-nervous breakdown.

I am a Recovering Baby-Wiser. (Don’t hate.)

Cuddling in bed is punishable by death. I can cuddle you but please for the love don’t cuddle me. This has caused what’s commonly referred to as Marital Strife.

I know all parents think their child is truly the smartest, cutest child to ever exist. But I don’t think I’m wrong and I don’t think I’m biased. Right?

Stubbed toes are always funny. They’re never not funny. (Unless of course it involves my toes and then it also involves Christian Cursing.)

I have to be even. I have to. If I’m rinsing something off and I get one hand wet, I have to get the other one wet too.

I also have to always put my left sock and shoe on first, and if for some ridiculous reason I accidentally put the right one on first, I have to take it off and start over. (I’m heart-attack serious.)

Lastly.

The way to my heart is Hilarity and Sweets. If you’re not funny, take heart. Anyone can follow a recipe, yes?

In the spirit of Mutual Disclosure, what are some things I should know about you?

A Do-Over

Do you ever have those days where you crawl into bed at the end of it and think, I’ll take A Do-Over for $500, please? 

I had one of those today. (And yesterday.)
All the things I did wrong run through my head like one of Micah’s Veggie Tales songs that I can’t get out of my head, for the love of everything good and right in this world
I spent too much time on the computer. 
I didn’t stop what I was doing and look Micah in the eye when he was talking to me. 
I sighed loudly and frustratedly when Asher cried for me again.
I said Dang it! when I dropped that thing for the five majillionth time, and Micah heard me and repeated it.
I shoved Cyrus off of me when he was just trying to snuggle.
(That’s our cat, FYI. I’m not a total jerk.)
I got irritated at Matt for no good reason other than I was tired. 
I turned the radio up as loud as we could handle it just because I didn’t want to answer the same question one more time. (Mommy, hom? No, baby, we’re going shopping. Mommy – Nana, Papa? No, baby, they’re working. Mommy, hom?)
(Just go ahead and repeat the above conversation 4,792 times and you’re 1/5,000th of the way to reality.)
I was snappy and irritable all day. We were headed to town and as I was driving I was talking to the Lord. I was telling him my frustrations and why I was frustrated. As he so kindly does, he showed me where I needed to ask for forgiveness, and at that moment I needed to start with my son. So I angled the mirror and I said, Hey baby, Mama’s been impatient and rude today and I’m sorry. That’s not right and I’m sorry for being like that. Do you forgive me? 
He gave me his big smile and sideways glance and I knew all was forgiven. 
He also wasted no time in confirming yet again that we were in fact not going home and yes, Nana and Papa were working, and yes, Daddy was also working, and no we were not going home. Lather, rinse, repeat.
*sigh*
These days happen. They just do. Maybe not for everybody, but they do for me. But I’m believing a lie if I think that’s just the way it is and oh well. I need to make it right where I’ve been wrong. If I’ve been rude to Micah, I need to ask his forgiveness. Naturally I may be impatient and irritable, but God’s Word tells me I’ve been made new. So tomorrow morning, by faith, we do it again. And somehow, little by little, God transforms this sinful but redeemed girl into his likeness, from glory to glory, in his Spirit. Amen. 

Do Justice

If God is truly all-loving, is it safe to say then that he must also be all-just?

Imagine with me for a moment. Imagine a 65-year old man. He’s old. He’s pruny. He’s probably got a wife and kids and grand-kids. And he’s staying overnight in a hotel. Nothing out of the ordinary so far.
But he’s got a little girl with him and that’s a little strange. It’s not his grand-daughter and they’re definitely not hanging out at the pool.
No, in fact, she’s the 9 year old little girl he picked up around the corner. And brought back to the hotel with him. And paid for to spend the night with him.
Continue to imagine with me. He’s caught (thank the Lord) and the investigator in charge of the case leads the questioning. After awhile Mr. Investigator comes to some conclusions. You know, Pruny 65-Year Old Man who was caught prostituting a 9-year old girl, I think I was wrong. I see that you’re really just a guy who’s got some issues, but who doesn’t? I think you’re trying. I’m gonna let you go and you try and do better. Next time, at least make sure she’s not 9.

(Who of us would not want to hunt that man down and so help us not make him regret the day he woke up and breathed air?)
Love without justice is not loving at all. If I do not discipline my son, in the name of love, I have not been loving at all. I have done him much harm.

Micah 6:8 says, 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?
Do justice. Do justice. While loving kindness and walking humbly with our God, we are to actually act with justice, to do something, on behalf of others. The Lord has required, not requested, that of us.
Perhaps even on behalf of the 27 million slaves that exist today. Or on behalf of the more than 120 million orphans in the world.
You know that story that I had you use your imagination for? Except for Mr. Investigator, it’s true. It happened this week. In Cambodia. My friend of many years was part of the sting that caught that man.
They were doing justice. Not in the way the world often does it – getting even, raining down revenge. But in a way that reflects the heart of God, they were acting rightly and justly (i.e. doing something) on behalf of the oppressed.
If you’re anything like me, this overwhelms you. You’re thinking, It’s too much! What could I possibly do that would make one minuscule amount of difference in the face of such large-scale problems? I have two small kids, I’m barely managing to do good here!

One thing I’m learning is that I can do something. I can’t do everything and I can’t even do big things, but I can do something. I can collect our cereal boxes and send them to Haiti so the women there can use them to make jewelry and make a living for themselves. I can give financially to others who are on the front lines. I can pray and pray hard that God would raise up rescuers. Something is always better than nothing.

Laura, my dear friend, and also wife to the friend that was part of the sting, talks here about something specific and tangible that we can do to do something.
Do justice.
Love kindness.
Walk humbly with your God.
“O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted;
you will strengthen their heart;
you will incline your ear
to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.”
Psalm 10:17-18