Monday, December 3, 2012

Humble Brown Bags

I went to a friend's baby shower the other day. I brought her  a small gift from India to put in her baby's room, a ceiling hanger of elephants, made by mentally disabled women who were given dignity and hope in India by being given the job of making these crafts. I didn't have a bag to put the gift in, so I created one with paper and stickers. I added a hand-made card, also made by women in India, telling her about the gift.

I set my gift on the designated table. A small brown taped up package in the midst of large, store bought, nicely wrapped, stuffing filled gifts, probably containing something much more useful than my little decorative gift.

In my mind, I shuffled nervously, feeling like my gift was too small, too insignificant.

Look at all those other gifts. They're so pretty, so expensive. What was I thinking bringing her this thing? It's not even useful. 

When all was said and done, my homemade bag was handed around for everyone to see and so was my little gift. Everyone loved it.

Lesson learned: never be ashamed of being small, weak, and humble. It's usually so different from what people normally see that they are intrigued by it and come in for a closer look. Like a weak, vulnerable baby lying in a stack of hay in a barn. Like lowly shepherds who came to give what they had to the newborn King: their praise.

"To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? It is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour until it was all leavened." -Luke 13: 20-21

The Kingdom came to earth in a small, unlikely way and God is still using the small and unlikely to bring His kingdom to earth. "For he who is least among you all is the one who is great" and "everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." -Luke 9:48 and 14:11

I pray to be smaller.

Since being back in the States, I have spent pretty much every day in Bible study and prayer.
I have no job, and do not feel God leading me to a job.
I do not spent money on anything I feel to be unnecessary, such as my car, which I do not need right now.
I am reading more about my upcoming Mission with Mission Year and preparing for preparations...

I will be moving in September of next year to a city to be determined for Mission Year. Mission Year will place me in a Christian community in an urban city and teach me how to love my neighbor through outreach, prayer, curriculum on neighborhood justice, simple living, and community living. I will be in this program from September 2013 to July 2014, after which I hope to come back to Phoenix, get my masters in community development online through Eastern University, buy a home in a low income area of Phoenix, and start living out the Gospel through community living.

You can check out Mission Year here:

God is keeping me small and reliant on Him by keeping me jobless and carless, for the time being. I know there is meaning in it all. I do not think God wants me to get a "job" for a long time... which is unsettling for me because since working age I have always had a "job," I mean the kind I get a paycheck for every other week. But if He keeps me from making "my own" money, He's got to provide. Which makes me cling to Him, coming to Him as a beggar to a rich man, asking, "Father, fill me with the Holy Spirit and take care of all else." My God is big. He will take care of me every month when the rent needs to be paid; He will take care of me when I need food in my fridge (and He's been doing so through my siblings since I've been home!); He will take care of the $12,000 needed for my Mission Year program. And you know why He will take care of it all? Because I'm His daughter whom He has called for a purpose. And our Heavenly Father takes care of His children, even if the ways He takes care of us look strange in our own eyes.

He provides.

Jehovah Jireh. 

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