“We cannot think our way into a new kind of living.
We must live our way into a new kind of thinking.”– Richard Rohr
Exactly two years ago, Peter and I were in Ecuador with Compassion International, spending time with Jefferson, the boy we had sponsored for many years. I wrote about our trip a handful of times. It continues to shape me still. It had been a lot of years since I had let the reality of poverty seep into my thoughts. I realized that I can do all the reading and watching and talking that I’d like, but nothing compares to being in the thick of it. When poverty has a name and a face, it wrecks you. At least that’s what it did to me.
When I think about my life here, it’s pretty comfortable. And honestly, that’s not what I want. At least it’s what I fight against wanting. In the mornings, when I think about the one life that God has given to me– this finite number of days that I have here on this earth– I just don’t want to waste it. I am determined to make the most of my minutes. And then I get out of bed. My feet hit the floor and my eyes open to the piles … and before I know it, I’m overwhelmed by laundry and requests for more snacks and obscene amounts of grass on the kitchen floor. Before I know it, I seem to only have time for the tasks that concern me and my little family.
I know, I know that those things are important. The dailyness of a Mom’s life is invaluable. But I worry when those tasks become more valuable to me than my relationship with Christ, my concern for the poor, the orphans, my community. And that, my friends, is definitely not what I desire to be modeling to my kids.
I’ve noticed lately that when I’d sing, “Break my heart for what breaks Yours…” It wasn’t hitting me deep down. I’d become hardened.
And so, when my friend Neile wrote to me about joining her in Haiti, I hesitated for a bit, but I knew it was an opportunity I couldn’t let slip through my fingers.
On September 12, I’ll leave Peter and the kids (along with my awesome in-laws who will come to help in my absence) and I’ll pretend to be brave. I’ll travel to Port-de-Paix, Haiti and spend the week with Waves of Mercy. We’ll spend time with children who have been orphaned, have a birthday party for young Mamas and their babies, and love these people who have so little and are still so devastated by the earthquake four years ago. Something tells me it will split my heart right open, and honestly, I’m more than a bit terrified.
But I long for a new kind of thinking. I believe that the Holy Spirit is working among His people in a huge way and I want to experience it for myself. I’ll never get there if I only think about it. So for me, right now, that means spending a week with those who have been through so much tragedy and are still able to live with hope. I cannot wait to see what they will teach me. And I pray that in some small way, I will be an encouragement to them.
Will you pray for me?
P.S. I feel so blessed to be at this point in my life that I can leave my kids in capable hands, knowing that they’ll be well taken care of. For many of you, putting a stamp in your passport is just not an option right now. But it doesn’t always take a plane ride or extra money to live a new kind of life and have a new way of thinking. I really like the way Kristen Welch thinks and writes and her post on “100 Ways for Your Family to Make a Difference” is dynamite. I am always trying to find new ways that we can teach our kids to look for the needs of others before themselves, to live against the culture that so smoothly convinces them that they deserve it all. Some days are easier than others, but I keep telling myself that one day they will get this. In this world of entitlement, it is such a huge battle. If you’re in the thick of it, keep fighting. It is worth it. Don’t believe the lie that you have an excuse not to serve beyond yourself.