When I look further than my own space I am seeing that there are kids being sold into slavery. Girls being prostituted. Boys being taught to murder. People dying of starvation. It's real. I know it exists but it doesn't come close to touching my world. I am blessed beyond comprehension. I don't even realize the half of it.
My heart hears those things and is saddened, angry, and baffled. What should I do? What can I do? Well, I have been praying. Praying for those in need, poverty, oppression, abuse, and endless bad cycles to be freed. That God would send people, money, and resources to their aid. I know God hasn't called me to literally go to other countries and be a missionary or special ops agent to recover people, but He has placed me here. He has placed me in the most relaxed and richest country in the world. It's like I won the lifestime lottery! I think He is telling me that I can still have a role in this. While others are fighting to find food and stay out of slavery, I am here with time in my day to turn off the morning show and pray for those out there on the front lines and the destitute. That my voice to God speaks louder than reading and arguing articles on FB. My voice, along with hopefully millions of other Christians are storming the gates of heaven and God is using people He has sent to give them what they need to help others.
But, even hearing all the things wrong in this world, I think God is whispering another story. One of redepmtion, restoration and wholeness. I think He is saying, "I AM HERE. I haven't left. I am still working in the midst of these things. The kindgom IS here. Hear my voice, see Me." He is also encouraging me to not be afraid. That I need to keep my eyes on Him while raising my girls. To recognize that the evil is already there and to bring the power of God into our lives and be a light. That hopefully the light inside me will impact my kids and the people around me. Through that, I think He is opening my eyes to see other struggles where I am.
He is also placing people in my life that have a passion for our community. Such as those who can't afford a coat. People who literally walk in the snow wherever they go without a coat because they don't make enough money to buy one and can't afford to have a car. There are marriages on the rocks; women who are single moms, coming to a mom's group twice a month looking for friendship and conversation. There are kids lonely and turning to the wrong things to fill the void of workaholic parents. Kids being abandoned and left to be orphans. There are people stuck in a poverty cycle and don't know how to get out of it.
With that, I try to open my hands and ask what He has for me, little me, in my community. And when I open my hands, I see other people right there beside me, kingdom followers, saying, "Yes, let's join together." Join me is starting a business to help job train people stuck in poverty cycles. Join me to help buy coats and give them to people in need. Join me in speaking about ways to live a healthy lifestyle to help women connect with God. Join me in a mom's group to invest in other women's lives (and let others invest in you). Join me in sending our kids to school so that we can make an impact on the community, while discipling our kids in the mess, with the power and presence of God. Let's put a small footprint in our community and join God in changing our world. Let's ask God, "How can I get in on what You're doing?" Let's start our day with a posture of opening our hands and saying, "send me." God is the one who turns the 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread into enough for thousands; we just have to give what we've got.
"If you get rid of unfair practices, quit blaming victims, quit gossiping about other people's sins, if you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out, your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight. I will always show you where to go. I'll give you a full life in the emptiest of places-firm muscles, strong bones. You'll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry. You'll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild foundations from out of your past. You'll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again."