Somewhere around this time last year, my oldest started talking about what she wanted for Christmas. It was nothing i-related or even material-related. She wanted to go on a missions trip. That's all she wanted. I thought it was a little "phase" and she would soon be asking for the "stuff."
It was not a phase. In fact she bugged us well into the holidays and we assured her on Christmas morning that we were praying about an opportunity in the future to allow her to go. After all, she's was only 13 at the time!
As the holidays rolled passed, she talked daily of her desire to serve in our community. When she brought up how a friend went to the prison with her dad each week, I decided to call AIM. (I am not ready for the prison.)
We started volunteering each week. We would race over after school on Wednesdays and pack produce for the next days' clients. It was our favorite day of the week.
I remember after only one week of service, the girls were hyper-sensitive about waste in our home and how "floppy" carrots are still perfectly edible.
Initially, I thought this was going to be a great opportunity for the girls to learn to serve in our community and see a world outside of theirs and grow compassion in their hearts for those who live life very differently than they do.
And yes, it has. But I had no idea how God would stir my heart.
This summer we have been given the privilege of serving at AIM in another capacity. Every Friday, we take lunchables and other goodies to the children in a small community in our area. It's an hour of our time and it takes hardly any effort. It's not about the time. It's not about the effort. It's really just about opening our eyes to His kingdom.
Not coincidentally, I picked up a book this summer to read, mainly because the author's blog makes me laugh out loud. The book has caused a stirring in my heart that I pray will never cease.
She says, "I want to belong to a community known for a different kind of beauty, the kind that heals and inspires. I can't help but remember Jesus, and how God made sure to mention He was plain and simple by human standards. There was nothing physically attractive about Jesus. He wasn't rich or notorious, well-dressed or handsome. At first glimpse Jesus was forgettable, neither standing out for beauty or charisma. Maybe this is why the widow and marginalized and sick and outcast flocked to Him. He was approachable in every way."
"Jesus' kingdom continues in the way that it was launched; through humility, subversion, love, sacrifice, through calling empty religion to reform and behaving like we believe the meek will inherit the earth. We cannot carry the gospel to the poor and lowly while emulating the practices of the rich and powerful. We've been invited into a story that begins with humility and ends with glory; never the other way around." (from Jen Hatmaker's book, "7")
His kingdom is beautiful in every way.
I'm just grateful for the opportunity to open my girls' eyes to it's beauty...