24 Sep Be A Blessing
A friend recently gave me a new book which I finished reading last week. For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards is by bestselling author Jen Hatmaker. It is a book for and about women (sorry, guys) and our struggles to measure up to our self-imposed, impossible standards. Spoiler alert: the book is full of gratuitous humor. I laughed so hard over chapter 4, “Fashion Concerns” that I stopped breathing. If you could use a good dose of both grace and laughter, this is your book, but I would read it with a box of Kleenex handy—and medical personnel standing by.
Jen has a knack for shining the light on the church in ways that help us see ourselves more clearly (and which inevitably result in some squirming). In For the Love she makes a probing observation that I’ve been thinking a lot about: “If it isn’t also true for a poor single Christian mom in Haiti, it isn’t true.”
Take the matter of blessing. Too much of Western Christianity equates God’s blessing with material blessing (there’s even a name for it: prosperity gospel.) But, if that were really true, the poor single Haitian mom would be out of luck, wouldn’t she? Thinking about her reminds us that what Jesus promises us is God’s presence and God’s peace, not perfect circumstances. We are assured that God is at work in our lives, not that all our problems will disappear. We are offered the gifts of joy and hope, not the house or spouse of our dreams. God is with the poorest of Haitian moms and God is with you. God is present with the Syrian refugees fleeing their homes and God is with me. It is a powerful promise to know we are not alone when life throws its worst at us.
But, it doesn’t end there. God also invites us to be a blessing to others. What do we have to share that can make a difference to someone? Compassion? Expertise? Time? A financial gift? Listening? A meal or a ride? A note of encouragement? Every one of us has something to offer. When we each share what God has entrusted to us, God’s kingdom comes a little closer for us all—and yes, that’s also true for the single mom in Haiti.
Yours for the Kingdom,