I read this posting off of a blog this week. It was a great post and perhaps one of the best things I read this week so I'm passing it on. A little bit of background about the writer-her name is Tara Livesay and she and her family are currently missionaries in Haiti. She has spent a lot of time running from God and a lot time finding Him. Her post is a great reminder of how God calls us to little things that are often big, of how our impact on this world is not limited by our own abilities, of how God constantly is at work designing human interactions to reflect His love, of how sometimes we mess that up with our actions and words. I found it to be very encouraging and honest.
Troy and I believe that God is the author of every good story, and without any prideful tone, we think we are one of those good God stories. Here is why: No less than 11 years ago we were broken, hurting, lost, twenty-somethings in search of God. We'd both done things we were terribly ashamed of and we were both running hard from anything and everything that smelled like, looked like, or even hinted of God, "religion" or faith.
The fact is, we hope that we are a living, breathing example of the way God writes redemption stories.If you've ever said "God cannot use me" or if heaven forbid- some holy-roller told you that you were not usable because of X Y or Z in your past - you must know those are lies.God can and does use anyone willing to be forgiven and forgive themselves. We had to do that in order to allow Him to work. We've seen and experienced rejection from those who believe falsely that God is only performance based ... and we venture to guess you have too. Throw off those opinions, they are very small things.
What is true about you, what is true about us is what God sees. And if we believed today - that God cannot use us - because TODAY we struggle with the hard facts of life and we grapple with deep issues of faith --- we'd have to close up shop. There is a way in which God can use anyone and everyone seeking Him. Having every little answer packaged up nice in a fancy box is not necessary or possible. Not. Necessary. Not. Possible.There is a misconception about what it looks like to be used. I don't think it only looks like going to Africa to save AIDS babies. I don't think it only looks like pulling up stakes and going somewhere far from where you live today.I think it looks like something different for each person. That is an issue for each of us to work out with God. I think for some it is reaching out to the guy next door whose wife just left him, inviting him over for dinner. I think for others it means coming along side a 16 year old that is pregnant and afraid. Maybe it means baby-sitting for a cruddy single mom down the street. Maybe it is as simple as being kind to a real dork that you work with. I think it means allowing God to take us to uncomfortable places where we're loving people that we don't find all that lovable. The location in which it happens is irrelevant.
The people that showed me unconditional love when I was a pregnant unwed mother (twice) are the people that changed the course of my life. The people that showed Troy compassion during a time of searching and running and lying are the people that laid the ground work for him to be doing that for others today.