Time to Engage

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This is one of those posts that I’m pretending as if I’m writing to you but I’m really writing to myself. I’m giving myself permission to engage without engaging. To be free to connect. I really do want this for you too. I want it for all of us, but I know I need to hear this and that’s why I’m writing down for all the world to see.

Yesterday there was an ad for “The Drop Box.” It’s a documentary about infants who are being abandoned by their parents into these special incubators. This is an attempt to prevent parents from abandoning their children in places like dumpsters or parks. I’ll admit, I’ve seen the ad for this film before but under much different circumstances.

When I first saw it, I was excited because Caleb and I were planning on adopting from China. I was exited to feel like I was a part of the solution. “The Drop Box” isn’t based in China (Korea, actually) but there is a similar movement happening there. I felt at ease and a peace about it all. There was hope and we were going to be a part of that. I guess if I’m honest, in retrospect the hope was coming from feeling like I was controlling the situation. Regardless, I felt really good about myself.

Now, I feel like a jerk. Caleb and I are no longer planning to adopt from China and have instead switched to a domestic program. When I saw the announcement for the film to be released soon, I immediately wrote it off. Why would I go see a film that has nothing to do with me? I caught myself thinking this thought. Thinking that it’s pointless and then I noticed something. A feeling that sucks. Guilt. Bleh. I felt this immediate flash of guilt when I saw the ad for the film. I felt guilty that I was no longer a part of this solution. The guilt made me want to avoid the topic altogether.

Then I realized that I couldn’t be more wrong.

Have you ever been hurt or wronged? Maybe it was a childhood event or something in the distant past. Whatever it is, when you want to share it with someone special to you, someone that you trust, do you expect them to “fix it?” No, of course not. The past can’t be changed. We share our stories to be heard, understood, known, connected.

When I choose to ignore a story of the oppressed, I’m robbing them of an opportunity to simply be heard.

Here’s what else I’m doing. I’m missing the possible opportunity to live my life for something more. I’m also missing the opportunity to be well-informed. How can I possibly expect to make sound political decisions as a voter if I’m not in touch with what is going on in the world around me? Sure, I may not actually go to Taiwan and adopt a baby but maybe my view of international relations will change in some way. Maybe my views of biological parents who give-up their children for adoption will change.

Maybe God will use my new knowledge as a preparation for something in the future.

Who knows.

All I know is this: we are called as children of God to be ministers of reconciliation. We are called to care for the oppressed. We are called to be ready to be called. We need to be willing to hear the voices of the suffering. 

So next time I encounter a PSA about some sort of hardship going on, maybe I will listen instead of ignoring the issue and assuming that I am powerless to help in any way. Maybe I will allow that person to be heard, even if listening is all I am called to in that situation. So maybe I can engage without assuming I must actually engage. Because what I know matters. Then I must be open to how God may want to use that. It may simply be for my own sanctification. To become aware and in-tune with the suffering of the world as He was. That sounds scary I know. But never forget that our God is one of Hope. We can hear of tragedy and know that His Kingdom will be restored.

Don’t be afraid to listen.

“For you were not given a Spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.” 

2 Timothy 

The Twenty-One

21 Egyptian Christians Murdered
21 Egyptian Christians Murdered

I’m horrible at writing about relevant events right after they’ve happened. Surely this post should have been delivered two days ago but I just wasn’t ready yet. In my limited thirty-one-year-old wisdom I have learned myself and I have learned that time is better for my words. The words that begged to be shared two days ago are more akin to your pile of laundry than poetry.

Not that I am a poet. But God willing, I hope that my words are valuable.

My heart doesn’t do well with tragedy. My mind doesn’t help. Scenarios flash of the loved ones involved. The phone calls to the victims’ families. The dread of watching your beloved fall victim to pure evil. Innocence lost.

My mind is reeling around what to write about such a sick and twisted event. Do I go political with this? God knows about my temptation to throw my laptop after hearing Fox News’ outtake on the event. Perhaps political isn’t the way to go. Maybe psychology then? Let’s talk about sociopathy. Let’s talk about what drives people to such extremism. That doesn’t feel right either.

So I’ll talk about you. You are probably more interesting than those topics anyway. How do you handle hearing about events such as this? Fall your face to your hands, turn away in despair? Shrug your shoulders and proceed on? Pray? Maybe you’re like me and you feel a tornado of anger swell up within. Wanting answers. Wanting the only answer to: How do we stop this?

As Christians, we know that the world isn’t doomed to get any better until it gets worse. This is destiny. Yet, we live in the paradox of our faith which calls us to bringing Heaven to Earth. We  were made by a just God and therefore long for justice.

We stop this by YOU stopping this. That’s the only way. We can’t do this without you. You must follow your calling to bring Heaven down here. You mustn’t stop until you must. We are called to this. We are called to bring love and reconciliation and peace and justice.

Someone (I’m not getting political so I won’t specify whom)  said that the answer to this problem of ISIS is to address the root of the problem. Why do people join terrorist groups? Why do people join gangs? Why do bullies exist? These are humans, heart-beating, lungs-filling type people. They are flesh and blood. They are not cannibalistic animals born to destroy. They are we.

I don’t know how you’ll stop this. Only you know that. Only you know the specific ways in which God has called you to bring your piece of Heaven down. Maybe it doesn’t even seem related. Maybe it seems insignificant.

Nothing of Christ is insignificant.

Pray that the Holy Spirit will reveal to you what significance He has for you. Pray that this Lent season will bring you closer to Him and Heaven closer to Earth. Pray.

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This is Where I Live

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We always want what is slipping through our fingers or what has already fallen from our hands. That’s what they say. Is this true for you?

I find that I always appreciate things more when I realize they are coming to pass. I’m working on that.

In this vein, I share with you a tiny glimpse of my life here in Spring Branch, Texas. It’s the first time I’ve lived in the country and I have really come to love this time in wide open space. It’s about to end soon as we move into our new place closer to Austin. I’m really going to miss the beauty of this place.

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Canyon lake, with its crystal blue waters and limestone shores. It is breathtaking.

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There’s even a park next to the lake that Luca loves. More than he loves his picture being taken.

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Driving to my in-laws house you will see deer, goats, and more. My favorite are the long horns.

 

 

 

 

 

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We don’t always have to know what we got ’til it’s gone. We we take a moment each day to appreciate what we have, it’s there, right in our hands.

Happy Friday Friends! Enjoy your loved ones this weekend!