Milk-white clouds hemmed in pink and silver, stacked miles high, underpinned in gray. Ribbons of blue thread in between and my mind wanders off to a place I have never been, a place where my other little boy with skin darker than mine lives in a land that’s been ravaged by war and suffering. And I wonder what the sky looks like over his head.
The lightness of these clouds lifts my thoughts and in this warm sticky heat of this summer evening, I wonder if it is much hotter it is where he lives. I wonder if he worked today, or went to school, if he is tired from the fullness of laboring or from living under the weight of poverty.
The impending storm here, puffs and swells it’s gray chest, threatening, with low, deep rumbles and flashes of light, and wide golden rays slip through in obvious beams, I think of how you, the Father of Lights, are ever present, even in the storms, even in the dark places, across oceans and in mud huts built on blood stained earth-
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. Psalm 139:7-12
These bold shocks of bright light give me hope.
And I realize that hope is everything, when you have nothing.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12
My other little boy, whom I have never met, lives in Rwanda. He loves to sing. I have never seen him smile. Not yet. But I know he has hope. We sponsor him through the Compassion program, and through Compassion’s programs he is learning that beyond his daily struggles, there is hope. And this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. Hebrews 6:19-20
Since becoming a Compassion Advocate a couple of weeks ago, I have tried to write this post so many times. My fingers become stiff and my mind wanders everywhere else and the words. just. stop. coming. I am the least qualified person to speak about poverty, for I do not know the depths of it’s despair. I felt God calling me to Advocacy, and since committing to it, I have felt the cull of the deceiver away from it. I am not a public speaker. I am not a skilled fundraiser. God is humbling me through this process and while I feel like I am drinking from the firehose, God has been continually, repeatedly, encouraging me, through scripture, through others, through various signs and insights.
The other morning mid-run I felt the need to stop running that minute and go and sit before the Lord. While I had been running my thoughts were in the hollows of self-depriciation. I just kept thinking how unworthy and unqualified I am for this task. How this advocacy thing is not my gift and not something I will be able to really do.
And then God nudged me, I kept running and he nudged again.
Stop. Be still before me.
Immediately I stepped off the treadmill and sat down with my devotional. This is what I read:
“Moses may have thought that the bush was a supernatural vision. But it wasn’t. It was just an ordinary bush. And when God wants to speak, any old bush will do. Our foolishness only highlights his wisdom, and out weakness testifies to his strength.” Dr. Ed Young
Moses certainly felt unworthy and unqualified of the task of leading the Israelites out of captivity. Learning to live the practice of humility, means recognizing that God can and does use anyone. He manages to use some of the most seemingly unfit people for incredible tasks. The Scriptures are full of examples of this. However useless I may feel, however ill-equipped, or flawed I am, God can still make use of me. And so, I go. I go because I am called to, not because I am worthy or prepared, not because I know I can be so effective at this ministry, but because I want to obey. Learning the practice of humility, is learning to be obedient to both the scriptures, and to the call of serving others.
On September 18th, my best friend, Carrie and I will run 10 miles for Compassion. We hope to raise both money and awareness for those in need, for children like my Manirakiza, who look the despair of poverty in the face every single day. I would love for you to support us. We would love it if you would pray for us, as we continue to train, as we have our hearts continually broken for the least of these. You can join us by donating HERE. The money we raise will go into Compassion’s Medical Assistance Fund and will be used to give critical medical care to those who otherwise would not be able to receive it.
Poverty stuns us and makes us feel like we can’t do anything to help, like it’s just too big for us to make a difference. This is a lie. You can join us by supporting our effort, and you will make a difference.
If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:17-18