Friday, June 20, 2008

ready, set, go? ... or maybe just GO!

India is close and I am not ready; plain and simple.

God willing, I will be by the time I land in Delhi... but then again, how ready can I really be?? I think there is something freeing in NOT being ready. Let me explain. Being ready means "prepared mentally or physically [or spiritually, or emotionally] for some experience or action."

Yep--I'm definitely not ready.

I am ready (ok, not yet, but I plan to be by Tuesday afternoon) to GO with reckless abandon and jump in headfirst to something that I KNOW God has called me to... but I am not ready in any other sense of the word. How can I PREPARE for something with so many unknowns?

I don't know what my days will look like. I don't know how often I will get to shower. I don't know how 'comfortable' I will be in such an infamously dirty place. I don't know how I will feel when I walk around the poorest city in this world. I don't know if I will be understood when I speak English. I don't know how to share Jesus with someone who believes something so different. I don't know why He wanted me to go to India in the first place. I don't know how He will use me. I don't know how I am going to survive on Indian food. I don't know what it is He wants to teach me.

But I DO know that I CAN TRUST HIM. I can give Him everything that is weighing me down and He will carry it for me, happily. It's a choice. I can. I don't have to... but I can. And I will, because I don't want the pressure of BEING PREPARED.

All that I am ready for is being used... 100% of me. However He sees fit. If that means I am cleaning out leprous wounds, so be it. If that means I am bathing someone with only days left to live, so be it. If that means I am playing soccer with street boys, so be it. If that means I am cleaning toilets, so be it.

I will be honest, I want to spend time with the people--I want to love on the sweet girls who have been stripped of their freedom, innocence, childhood. I want to comfort the sick and tell them about my sweet Jesus who loves them with an unimaginable love. I want to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice.

But, more than anything, I want HIS WILL to be done. Whatever that is... serving is serving and loving is loving, no matter how "glamorous" or unglamorous the ways in which we do them are.

Last night I found these words that Amy Carmichael, a missionary to India, wrote from God to us and they have become my prayer as well. Take this love song in...

"Trust Me, My child. Trust Me with a humbler heart and a fuller abandon to My will than ever thou didst before. Trust Me to pour My love through thee, as minute succeeds minute. And if thou shouldst be conscious of anything hindering the flow, do not hurt My love by going away from Me in discouragement, for nothing can hurt love so much as that. Draw all the closer to Me; come, flee unto Me to hide thee, even from thyself. Tell me about the trouble. Trust me to turn My hand upon thee and thoroughly remove the boulder that has choked thy riverbed, and take away the sand that has silted upon the channel. I will not leave thee until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. I will perfect that which concerneth thee. Fear though not, O child of My love; fear not."

Saturday, March 15, 2008

what is passion??

Really though... what is it?? I know, but at the same time... I have questions. I wonder, can you be passionate about more than one thing? Of course you can--but can you truly, truly be passionate about lots of things, or is it kind of one of those things where you need to pick something (actually, I think it picks you) and run with it?? Does it come and go in seasons?? Will I look back in twenty years and say "oh yeah, that is the time in my life when I was really passionate about this or that." I hope not. But maybe that is just me hoping that I still care enough about the things I care about now to still be fighting for them. Not that it is always a fight--just something that I feel so strongly about that I cannot be still. Maybe it is okay if it comes and goes in seasons... maybe there are other things that will burden my heart so heavily in the future that I will have no choice but to put other things on the back burner. But I wonder... I know people say you should not spread yourself thin...that you should pick something--pick a cause, pick a fight and give yourself 100% to that... I don't know if I agree. I do and I don't. I think I don't fully agree because I have not been able to do that yet and I am defending the place where I am. Yes, that is probably it. Oh me.

And here is another question... what if all I have to give is love?? It used to bother me that I do not really have a 'talent', if you will... Yes, I am good at some things (please don't mistake this as pity party statement), but I don't think there is anything that stands out as my strength/my talent/my 'gift'. I kind of like it that God, knowing how prideful I can be, has not given me an obvious giftedness in any one area. It is nice... It is humbling to know that I really have nothing to offer (really.... nothing) but the love of Christ that has filled my heart so full that I have some left over to share :) People ask me what I am going to Kenya to do... and really, I could make something up about accomplishing some sort of task or checking some things off someone's to-do list... but I really am just going to love and be loved. Why do I need to go all the way across the world to do that, you ask? That is a story for another day... ha. We are called to love each other DEEPLY... deeply. That word... such conviction comes with that, for me. I will save that for another post though :)

Back to the love thing... what if that is my passion?? Is that possible? Just that everyone would know the love that I know?? The love that is only found in Him? Is that the corny, "Sunday school answer"? Maybe. But it really is the cry of my heart. And I know, I know... this is the call for all of our lives--Jesus tells us that we are to "love one another deeply, from the heart" (1 peter 1:22) and we should "not love with words and tongue, but with actions and truth" (1 john 3:18) and "SINCE GOD LOVED US, we also ought to love one another... if we love one another, GOD LIVES IN US and His love is made complete IN US!" (1 john 4:11-12)

Look, I am no expert at loving people... I fail at this every single day, especially in my own family. But it is something I want to learn to do better... Paul's prayer for the Ephesians is so awesome.
"...I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power to grasp how WIDE and LONG and HIGH and DEEP is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."
(ephesians 3:17b-19)

I think this fire that burns inside of me for loving people (especially the 'unloved' ... the orphans, "untouchables", sick, guilt-ridden, 'tainted', neglected) will bring me to different things throughout life that might seem to be my 'passion' for the time being, but I don't think I will ever have it narrowed down enough to be able to answer the question "what is your passion" with a good, solid, one-sentence answer. I get freaked out about saying my passion is to "work with sick kids", or "african orphans", or "the homeless" because that puts parameters on what God can and will do through me... I just want to be 100% His to love whoever needs loving that day. To lead them to the greatest love they will ever know... or just remind them He's there. I want to literally be His hands and feet... His finger that wipes the tears from someone's eyes, His knees that are sore from kneeling by someone's bed to pray, His arms that hold someone who has lost hope, and His abs that are sore from laughing with someone who needs a good laugh... that is my prayer.

I want to go to places where people are hurting and broken and simply love them. Not fix them, not work with them, not lecture them... just love. Love. Love! Is that a job??? Please, sign me up.