Sunday, August 10, 2014

Serving in the Trenches

I guess I had a pretty radical conversion, or so it seemed.  The moment it clicked felt like someone flipped a light switch and I went from walking in darkness to being surrounded by glorious light.  There was purpose.  There was comfort.  There was forgiveness.  There was restoration.

Put me in coach…I’m ready to play.

But I wasn’t going to make a decision of faith in my twenties so that I could merely walk into church every Sunday morning.  I wasn’t saved to sit in a church pew…I was saved to follow Christ. 

And what does that mean but to follow Him into dark places…to rescue captives…much like myself…with glorious light.  Light I now possessed. 

We can be literal captives…innocent children forced into human trafficking…malnourished orphans trapped by poverty…or we can be slaves to sin…greed…pride…power…success…complacency…self-sufficiency. 

Either way…we’re not free.

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." They answered him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?" Jesus replied, "Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." John 8:31-36

Since I missed my calling as an FBI Special Agent, partnering with Christ to bring His Kingdom on earth has a certain appeal to me.  I do radical well.  Call this farm girl to urban ministry…and sink or swim…I’m diving in.  Globetrotting around the world to love the orphans and feed the hungry…I’m on the next plane out.

So when the Lord called me to suburbia…imagine my delight…

Now please hear me when I say that I dearly love my husband and three bonus stepchildren and would agree to hang my hat wherever they reside.  But for the past few years…I imagined that hat would be hanging near my mosquito net…somewhere in Northern Uganda…not tucked safely away in the suburbs of Central Iowa.

Me with Lexus and stepdaughters Karrena and Brea
I watched God’s not Dead the other night and the local pastor in the movie was a bit disenchanted with the 'everyday' ministry and a bit envious of the 'trenches' the visiting missionary served in daily.  It struck a chord in my soul…the trenches I miss and long for.  But just as God had plans to use that local pastor right there in the middle of his community…I know the Lord has plans for me here…

What does it mean to radically follow Jesus anyway?  When Jesus was asked what is the greatest commandment in the Law, he replied “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind – and love your neighbor as yourself.”

Love God, Love people.

Loving our neighbors in the trenches of Northern Uganda and Central Iowa alike.

What about you?  What are the ‘trenches’ you desire?  What’s hard about where your current ‘trenches’ are situated?  What are the unexpected blessings?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love it brandy. You do well at loving people, so I know God is using you where you are!