Monday, November 19, 2012

The Need

I broke down tonight and put in a favorite Christmas CD.  I didn't plan on doing it -but as I was looking around for something, it literally dropped out of the cabinet and fell on me.  I saw that as a good reason to pop it in.

As I was cleaning up the dishes from dinner, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the words of some old familiar tunes.."Glory in the highest....glory in the highest...unto you, Lord!"  And His glory over whelms me as I look out the window and see a multitude of stars set against a black November night sky. 

Glory.

And yet...I am also surrounded by broken people in such need.  A mom just called me who has no idea how she is going to provide a Thanksgiving meal to her kids.  Her kids go to school and hear all about the feast of turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pies - and then come home to empty pantries and another night of mac-n-cheese, the .33 kind.

I was at church this Sunday as dozens of hard working very poor people came in to get their "golden ticket"- a piece of paper that said they could pick up a large box of food for Thanksgiving.  All these men and women work at a chicken processing factory.  Some butcher the chickens.  Some clean up the mess left behind.  Most of them had children and were tired after a long week of work.  In fact, two men sat in their car for two hours in the parking lot, afraid all the food would be gone if they got their "on time". 

A single mom called me 8 times on Friday.  She has a 2 year old and is pregnant with twins that she is giving up for adoption.  She is in an empty apartment, empty other than a crib and a rocking chair.  For herself?  Nothing.  And she heard I might be able to get her a bed.  I was in a meeting in Columbia and couldn't answer my phone.  8 times she called, wanting to know if I could just get her a bed to sleep on because her back was starting to hurt as she slept on the floor. 

Glory to God in the highest!  Yes!  He is glorious!  And He has a plan of redemption for this world!

But it is still so broken and hurting and in need.

I don't have a nice little wrapped up message for this post.  Just needing to pour out the things that are swirling in my head.  Like...for all those far right, Christian conservatives...who don't want entitlement programs and handouts....what are YOU doing for these men and women?  I haven't seen the church step and do much in my lifetime.  I have seen lots of million dollar buildings go up in the name of Sunday School.  I have recently seen a church with a workout facility!  And yet, hungry men and women sleep on the floor while we worship in decorated sanctuaries just so we like the way it looks at Christmas time. 

I have heard many Christians complain and bemoan the results of the election....my challenge to those is to start stepping up!  Be compassionate.  Jesus had compassion...look up how many times in the gospel are the words, "Jesus had compassion on them.." or "Jesus looked at her with compassion..".  The need does not need our judgement...they need our compassion and our relationships. 

I was struck with the words that conclude James 2.."Mercy triumphs over judgement."  I can't seem to get past those words as my heart meditates on that very simple sentence.  Judgement is easy and takes little effort.  Mercy is exhausting and expensive. 

What am I choosing tonight as I listen to the next song..."..and yet you became flesh, living as one of us under the shadow of the cross . With through the blood you shed, you have made peace again, peace for the world that God so loves."  Peace.  Mercy. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

To Write Again?

Talk about serious writer's block....it has been a long dry spell.  There is much to catch up on - and I will try to get on that.

But the good news is that we get to adopt Anna - finally!  It has taken quite the battle and along the way we have seen a miracle.  We are anxious to make our family of 8 official!

Until then, I have been so busy with the ministry here.  God continues to move before us and open many, many doors.  After going to Colombia, my heart yearns for what a ministry like Safe families can do in a country in South America that has no foster care system.  And for many weeks after returning home I could think of little other than going back.  But...over time...God has shown me the amount of work that needs to be done here. 

I am reminded of how God wants us to do well with what He gives us.  Now...He is asking me to do well with the ministry in South Carolina not South America...yet. 

So, I finally wrote something!  Now, maybe the words will start coming back.