Sunday, January 29, 2012

On Dying and Loving: [Kisses from Katie]

the Journey

 Today I spent most of the afternoon reading “Kisses from Katie,” a book that will mess up your life in more ways then I am yet to really understand. Katie was a typical teenager who simply did what God commanded. A few years later her life is half-way across the world, a mom to 14 beautiful Ugandan daughters.
I have been following her blog, for some time now, and I am always both encouraged and challenged by her words. Katie will be the first to admit that not everyone is called to sell their livelihood and move to Africa to mother a dozen babies.

And yet, God does command us of the following:
  • You are to find me in the least of theses.
  • You are to leave your earthly possessions and come follow me.
  • You are to love and serve the Lord God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself.
  • You are to go and make disciples of all nations.
  • You are to entertain strangers and leper and tax collectors.
  • You are to show mercy.
You are to live a life of mediocrity and abundance, holding tight to your comfortable lifestyle, lest you lose it. No, He never says this.

I will be the first to say from experience, a life of mediocrity and abundance is comfortable—it’s safe. I would even say in our culture it is most accessible and acceptable. People question deviance from this norm. Giving up everything, opening our homes to strangers, and following Christ when you can’t see the whole plan—that is scary—and crazy in the eyes of our culture.

“But what if, just beyond that risk, just beyond the fear, is a life better then anything we have ever imagined:  life to the fullest. (John 10:10)

Not everyone has to pack up tomorrow and jump on a plane. Not everyone is called to the life of a missionary. But every day, we have a choice to make. Where we are it does not matter. We can stay nestled in our safe comfortable places and allow the fear of something that really is small compared to the greatness of God cripple us, or we can take a risk, do something to help someone else, change someone’s world.”

Katie’s words have been a gentle push in the behind, a gentle whisper in my ear, a not so gentle tug at my heart, a tug that is compelling me to die more and love deeper, right where I am at. It is compelling me to be unashamed of speaking the gospel message every time I have a visitor in my home. To cook bigger meals and welcome more international students into this apartment each week. To turn the car around and run into Walmart to get some food for the man standing on the street corner. To offer to babysit a couple times a month for the single mom struggling to make ends meet. To drop the things I think are more important and run my one of my daughters to Walmart at 10 o’ clock at night without complaint. To wash the dishes my roommates left in the sink with joy in my heart. To cut back on eating out once a week and give an extra $20 a month to the least of these.

I may not be a mother to fourteen in Africa (though I often wish I could carry such a title) but in His abundant grace, God has allowed me to play a tiny role in His perfect plan—He has allowed me to love like He loves, He has blessed me to give more, He has broken me apart, that in my weakness His glory will shine brighter then me.   

I refuse to be afraid to love…to give…to submit my control beneath the perfection and beauty of the plan He has for me and the things which He has commanded me.

“And gradually they realized their fear of death had brought them closer to it.”

I don’t want that to be me—to get so caught up in myself and my fears and my need for control that I am suddenly on the brink of death as a result. I desire to live the abundant life. That life comes most alive for me when it is in fact not about me. God, I pray that you show mercy in the messiness of my selfishness, that you would use me in spite of all of it, that you would allow me to represent you to the least of these, every day, wherever you have me, that I would gravitate towards loving selflessly and farther and farther away from myself.

Here is the promo video for Katie's Book which can be found at many local book stores or on Amazon!

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