But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.
Yesterday my son offered to help me fold the laundry.
Yesterday I saw three little brothers stop fighting mid swing, hug, and say sorry to each other without adult intervention.
Yesterday I saw a man stop in the middle of an intersection, put on his hazards and help a little ol’ lady cross the road because it was slippery. I stopped too because my eyes were so filled with tears that I couldn’t see where I was driving.
Yesterday I had a conversation with a friend who said she is teaching her daughter what it means to love thy neighbour, but she would prefer to not use words.
We make success all about the glitz, the glam and the appearance of huge because we’ve conditioned ourselves to believe that the mark of true success is how big a budget is. How many employees are on the roster. How many zeros are on the pay check. How big our bonuses or promotions are. The square footage of our home. The make, the model and the year of all of our vehicle(S) – plural. How many extracurricular activities our children are enrolled in. How many volunteer hours we bank. The perfect behaviour of our family. The assembled brand names of our outfits. The amount of vacations we take, friends we have and social happenings we attend.
It then bleeds into our churches when we apply success to how big our congregations are. How much we give to missions. How good the music is. How fired up the preaching gets us. How high the arms are raised during worship. How many tears are shed during an altar call. How many volunteers are in the choir. We then mistakenly translate this to mean that being like Jesus is all about, “go big or go home.”
I don’t recall reading: “and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a king-sized, 22K gold, Egyptian-cotton thousand-thread-count, manger, while waiting for the penthouse suite to be available.”
One month ago a friend of mine announced a movie night she would be hosting as a fundraiser for an orphanage she loves and supports.
I could go into great length about how beautiful of a person I think Louise is on the inside and out, and about how she lives her life with a contagious joy I’ve yet to see in any other person in my life – not an exaggeration – but why should I? Wouldn’t that be taking a simple intended blog post, with a simple intended message, and making it unnecessarily big? Her act of service needs no bells and whistles.
But I did have a question for Louise: Why?
People are your best opportunity to love Jesus. Live to Give!
I have always felt a strong connection and pull towards Africa because my grandparents – originally from Sweden – invested 40 years of their lives there. My mom was born and raised in a small village in Tanzania and spoke two African languages along with Swedish long before she ever learned English. My life-long dream came true this year when I traveled to Africa with a dear friend of mine for two months.
While in Tanzania we volunteered at an orphanage called Lohada. Lohada is now a big part of my heart and life, and not a day goes by that I don’t think and pray for them. I feel that what God is now asking me to do is connect both worlds by inspiring people here to support the people there.
On Friday, Nov.29th, I am hosting an event called,“Christmas Party for a Cause” – Home Alone 2 – at the Paramount Theatre, in Edmonton, Canada (doors open at 6:30pm). Admission is by donation at the door and all proceeds with go directly to Lohada.
There will also be hot chocolate, baked goods, and a fun photo booth setup. 10% of all concession sales will be donated to the Philippines.
So again I say. Define big.
Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
Shovel your neighbour’s walk.
Invite a single mom and her kids over to your house for dinner.
Sponsor a child.
Serve a hot meal.
Clean an elderly couple’s home.
Hug your children.
Tell your husband you love him (even if you’re mad).
Help a little ol’ lady cross the road, and yes, park in the middle of the intersection if need be.
Or take a cue from Louise and host a movie night giving all proceeds to a cause you believe in.
Why? Because “big things” for God is when we acknowledge that everything we do is an opportunity to honour and serve Him. It doesn’t get any more glamorous than that.
I leave you now with a beautiful video of children singing in Sunday school. *tear*. I love when children sing. These are kids from the Lohada orphanage (you’ll see Louise – blue shirt – on the far right a few seconds into the video).