Monday, March 23, 2009

without faith it's impossible to please Him

A white screen before me offers nothing for inspiration. In my head are dozens of disjointed thoughts, each one mildly interesting, but leading nowhere. Some days I have to choose among all the posts inside my head, but today I sift through bits of life, parts of my days, and find nothing of substance.

WAIT! There is something!

Last summer my sister sent me a book for my birthday, The Middle of Everywhere by Mary Pipher. I read it and I wanted to do something...wanted to reach out and help these people who lost everything and came to the land of promise only to find themselves almost defenseless in a rotten culture with new obstacles and difficulties they had never faced before. I didn't know how. I didn't know any refugees or ways to reach them, but I was aware that our nearby city had received a large number of Sudanese refugees. Late last fall our pastor spoke of a new ministry being established in our city, with the opportunity to be involved in distributing winter coats to refugees and others who would need them for the winter, and many more opportunities to follow. I felt God's tug at my heart and a clear pull to be involved, so that Saturday I left Peanut Butter and Raindrop with a friend, and took Christopher Robin along with me to help. We only stayed for an hour...that was all Christopher Robin could bear of a strange place full of strangers, right at his naptime, but it opened my eyes to families, mothers with 4 or 5 small children, trying to feed and clothe and raise them in an unfamiliar place without language or resources... The oldest boy, maybe 9 or 10? acting as translator, keeping siblings in tow, choosing jackets, carrying a mound of jackets and clothing in his arms...his face was intense with the responsibility he bore. As I was leaving, so was that family, piled into a minivan with another whole family, and I wondered, do they share an apartment, too? And I wonder what land they left to come live in the slums of our city, and how it compares. And I want to befriend them, and show them the good things our land offers, the parks, the lakes, the coast, hills for sliding in winter... I want to warn them about all the dangers, too. Don't waste your hours and days watching TV. Don't think that what you see there is how life really is. Don't think all the advertisements you see are true. What's best of life here is what's best of life where you came from; the outdoors, fresh produce, quiet moments together as a family...
Since then I have gone to orientation, sent my application in to be part of the ministry, considered the different opportunities this ministry offers; youth night on Friday or Saturday night, after school help for kids, or community dinners. After school help, I think. I've done it before, I love to teach, I love kids. What holds me back? Scheduling. Raindrop, who can't leave me for longer than 4 hours because she won't take a bottle. If I could work her schedule right, I could pull it off, but I'm only sometimes successful at pulling it off, and what about the weeks it didn't work?
I sent an e-mail a week and a half ago to find out more, and figure it out, because for the past month I have done nothing towards getting involved. I have heard no reply. Frustration begins to mount. What am I doing? What am I supposed to be doing? God, if You would just show me what to do, I will do it... why is it so difficult? Is it my fault, for not trying harder? And I start to feel guilty, too. I know God wants me involved, but I'm not yet. I must be doing something wrong.
Then yesterday our pastor was speaking and he said,

If you're in a situation and you know exactly what you should do in that situation, what do you do? Exactly the same thing I would do. You do it. It doesn't take thought, you just do it.
Why doesn't God show us exactly what he wants us to do? Because then we wouldn't need Him. We would just do it. You can say, "No, I'd still pray and ask for God's help." But you wouldn't. You wouldn't stop and pray, you would just do it.
God wants us to depend on Him.
God wants me to keep my eyes on Him, keep this something I'm constantly looking to Him for direction for, so I won't trek off on my own and do it solo. If the path was perfectly clear to the skyline, I'd probably start jogging and get ahead of Him. I'd miss things. Worse, I'd miss out on doing it with Him, and without Him nothing I do is worth anything.

It was a revelation, and peace, and a new joy. I'm exactly where God wants me, not knowing what to do next, eyes glued to Him for any indication of what my next move should be. I slip my hand into His big one and wait for Him to lead me on.

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