Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Everyone Can be Great...

....Because anyone can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. ~Martin Luther King Jr.

(Reposted from Feb 07)
We are often asked by people how they can help with such a huge problem as the ones that exist in a country like Haiti. It is true that when taken as a whole, the magnitude of the struggles in Haiti sometimes seem beyond our reach. Problems as big as starvation in Haiti or genocide in Africa confound our brains and can paralyze us making it difficult to see how we can make any difference with the large social issues that exists today. However, as individuals we always have the power to touch other lives. It can be an act as simple as a smile at the right moment, the willingness to reach out and hold someone's hand in a time of need or sharing our resources with someone we know or connected to in some way. While small, these acts are in no way insignificant as they have the power to touch hearts and can even change lives. These acts can make a difference regardless of where we are, but in a country full of desperation and despair, the acts are truly life-saving.

It isn't unusual for strangers who see us with our children or those who learn about our mission in Haiti to remark that we must be extraordinary people to do what we do. They proclaim that only saints or persons of great patience could possibly adopt a bunch of children, travel to a third world country to work or volunteer to care for sick children from Haiti. Well, I'm here to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth! It doesn't take any special skills, great abilities or an endless well of patience to do what we do each day. I guarantee you that no one who knows me would describe me as a saint and my children will quickly tell you that I absolutely do not have boundless amounts of patience. I have learned over the years that individuals who make the choices we have made in our lives have only one thing in common...the willingness to answer God's call.

Many of us feel secure in showing the acts of kindness that I mentioned earlier. However, when God whispers in our ear or nudges our thoughts towards helping those outside our comfort zone, I have been known to freeze. It is too scary to contemplate it or it requires more sacrifice than I am willing to make at that time. I have said "no" far more times than I have said "yes". I easily thought of a million reasons to justify not serving, but in reality I only needed one to accept the call...because God asked me to. He didn't ask me for a resume of my qualifications nor does he care if I have to put aside my agenda in order to do as he is asking. He wants me to stop dwelling on my fear and keep my eyes on Him.

I have come to believe that we shouldn't be scared of the great acts of service that live within all of us. These acts are the ones that cross our minds and we quickly dismiss them as inconceivable or requiring some special power that we surely lack. They are the acts that would require us to take a leap of faith and go beyond the borders of our comfort zones. But what we need to remember is that God knows what we are capable of better than we do ourselves. He calls us according to our gifts and if he says we are qualified, who are we to argue?


Momto13 said...

Wonderful post that I have come back to read three times. I think that everyone should read it at least TWICE.
Thanks for being able to put all of these thoughts and feelings into words. Truly beautiful.

Michele said...

I agree with S. Beautiful post. Thank you for reminding us that we really are the hands of God on this earth.