Today, I read the first section of a book called The Hole in our Gospel, by Richard Stearns.  (A short synopsis is in the Introduction.  If our relationship with our Higher Power is in our head and heart, but is missing the hands and feet connection, then it is incomplete.  It has a hole in it.  Serving others is a natural response to being in relationship with God.)  It is breaking my heart and yet filling it at the same time.  I was so moved by this CEO’s story that I began to look for ways to better reflect God’s love by serving His suffering in the world. I happened upon a resource called START, which I believe I may be following more closely in the near future, but for now, it has me considering service opportunities I have not considered in the past.  Instead of my usual devotional routine, I watched intently six short videos of this START service campaign.  My spirit stirred me so drastically that I cannot bring myself to think of anything else.  I am ashamed that I have been so self-indulgent that I have assaulted myself with excess food my whole life, while millions starve with no choice but to suffer in silence.

 

I was stirred by several Scriptures and phrases of the video presenters.  Psalms 147:3, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”  Ecclesiastes 4:1, “…the oppressed…have no comforter…” (emphasis mine)  One presenter used words I often hear, “Touch the leper…wash the feet…reflect by loving.”  It was a heart-tearing that was nothing short of life-changing.

I have shared openly an interest in nursing as a second career.  What I have not shared is a desire to do this in underprivileged communities, perhaps overseas.  I have spent my entire adult life committed to serving others, but my service was somehow swallowed up in the color of authority the agency that employs me draped me in…until recently!  I can feel myself being changed from a warrior to a missionary.  I am relating less and less to the centurion, and more and more identify with the ideas and mission of someone like Mother Teresa.  A banner on the START resource page quotes the famous nun, as she speaks a phrase that so concisely wraps up a large part of the 12 Steps, “Yesterday is gone.  Tomorrow has not yet come.  We have only today.  Let us begin.”

 

Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends-this is an experience you must not miss. We know you will not want to miss it.”  (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 89)

 

Post Script:

Wow!  When I finally did get on with my morning routine, it put an exclamation mark on God’s message for me today.   Voices of Recovery said, “The greatest gift I can give other compulsive overeaters is the same gift they have given me:  proving by example that spiritual, emotional, and physical healing are truly attainable.  As I find a fuller and richer recovery, I want to help others recover, too.”  Proverbs 6:9 continued the bugle call, “How long will you lie there, you sluggard?  When will you get up from your sleep?”  Even on the way to church, I turned on the radio and heard these words from Love Come to Life, by Big Daddy Weave, that seemed to put words to the prayer of my spirit: 

Bring Your love to life inside of me
Why don’t You break my heart ’til it moves my hands and feet
For the hopeless and the broken
For the ones that don’t know that You love them
Bring Your love to life inside of me.”

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