I lay in the dark, late, seething.
I had just read a chapter from Crazy Love about living a life for God. Examples of ordinary people feeding starving children, abandoned to the streets, families going to soup kitchens on Christmas morning, lives of meaning.
I wanted it SO badly. I wanted to leap out of bed, race into the living room and announce to my husband that we should give our 401K to the hungry and show our children how to serve on Christmas instead of buying presents. I know he wouldn’t agree, and I was mad. I was SO mad.
How dare he save for our family? Why should we have extra money when people are without food? Why should he buy our children more presents when their rooms are already bleeding plastic into my living room? Desperate, angry, I prayed:
“God, I want to give it all to YOU, I want to serve you in the slums and take in a million orphans, and give our money to the needy, but HE wont let me! How am I supposed to give my life to you when he isn’t on the same page as I am? He’s my husband, so change him so I can serve you”.
Quietly, softly, God spoke through a reminder of that very morning. It was five. In. The. Morning. I was desperate for sleep, half dreaming of a snooze button for two year-olds and the words had come, in a drifty way, a soft way:
I don’t dream in bible verses, so I knew it was Him.
“Oh God, please go away. Let me SLEEP for five more minutes, that’s why you invented cereal…right?”
Then my uncooperative brain responded, “Compromise ruins a celebration.” and I prayed for strength (yes, I hate mornings that much) and found my way to the coffee, and it wasn’t that bad at all, and I made eggs, and saved my husband from oversleeping an important meeting at work.
Sixteen odd hours later, I lay there, anger washing away in the face of my own nail-file of a refining moment.
I smiled. I knew that God had heard my prayer to serve Him more, and once again, instead of the radical (and much more thrilling) prospect of a life without toilet paper, he pointed to the now.
“Never make a principle out of your experience; let God be as original with other people as He is with you.” -Oswald Chambers
God doesn’t deal in fantasy life, He is not constrained by time and He never has to rush.
“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.” -Acts 17:24-25
Maybe someday, I’ll be doing something “BIG” for Him. For now, He’s asking me to rise early and feed my family.
“Do not think that love, in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in the small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” – Mother Teresa
I try to think of the most loving thing to do with my life, and I think of anonymous people with the most obvious need.
I need to love my husband, who I get so mad at for loving us in his way.
He lavishes gifts on our children, and why is that so bad? Doesn’t God do the same for us? Isn’t that why we have flowers and sky and watermelon and broccoli and every color bird with no two feathers the same?
My husband cares for us and loves us and provides for us, and maybe for now, I should work on loving the people God has put into my life instead of the ones He hasn’t.
“Stay where you are. Find your own Calcutta. Find the sick, the suffering and the lonely right there where you are — in your own homes and in your own families, in your workplaces and in your schools…You can find Calcutta all over the world, if you have eyes to see. Everywhere, wherever you go, you find people who are unwanted, unloved, uncared for, just rejected by society — completely forgotten, completely left alone” –Mother Teresa
For more of baby steps to love, click here.