Last night we spoke with a friend who is going into a difficult situation and asked for prayer. He is the in-between person to help try to resolve conflict, ascertain priorities, and work for peace between conflicted factions of his people, who are trying to end the ongoing oppression of the government ruling their country. This morning on the bus, the Scripture reading of the day was Matthew 19:26 ” Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”
Last night as we spoke, he spoke of Nehemiah and how they had their weapons in one hand, and their tools in the other-building safety for their people (a wall of protection), but watching in case the enemy came, or their were divisive, devious, sneaky attacks to keep them from building peace and safety. Well chosen Scripture, as he goes to seek peacemaking. He is a soldier. I have seen him pastor those around him, although he doesn’t call it that. He’s a good listener.
God bless you, my friend. May God, the source of all wisdom, give the wisdom you’re asking for.
This week, to my great surprise, I developed sympathy for the presidential candidates and the problem of having your life, your purpose, and your value reduced to a sentence or two. My value, how I view the world and my place in it, or what I am capable of contributing cannot be summed up in a sound bite. It’s frustrating and a bit infuriating when they try!
My sound bite moment came during a job interview. When I was asked why “at this age” I had taken an “entry level” position (implied: what’s wrong with you-are you stupid or crazy?), I was caught unprepared. I felt I was being reminded of “my place.” (I am not a college graduate. I am not young:) But, I love my job. I took my current job when financial reality dictated I couldn’t keep putting huge quantities of energy into my passion of being part of a team that got resources to teams serving internally displaced people in Burma who were had limited options for getting medical/dental care without their help. I am a sucker for a mission! I was blessed to find a job where I have been able to help people here in our area access dental treatment, even if they don’t the have huge quantities of money that frequently requires. I can live with that. There is still mission involved. It is still serving people. It is my compromise.
I have never fit well in the box. A test we took once at the dental office I worked at on Whidbey Island said that I was a “circle”: a person who likes to build team work, values people, nurtures other, like to get along, sees the bigger picture. My “career path” has included ample time on the “Mommy track” – a privilege I would not trade for anything. It is what was important and of eternal value. I am grateful.
Too bad job interviews don’t let you do your answers by essay instead of by interviews, judged by the sound bites. I would have had much more to say. I may not be much by the world’s standards, but I am a mother of three amazing adult children who still love me, for 34 years the wife of a kind, gentle, loving man, a child of God-saved by His grace and bought back from destruction. I am called to follow Him out of the safety of the box into the land where the wild things dwell. My life has purpose, even if the suit and tie crowd will never comprehend it. They don’t get to take away who grace has made me.
Finally found a recent chart of where refugees resettling in the US came from last year … still looking for statistics of where they ended up by state. The list below shows the top 10 countries the US received refugees from in 2010.
Money doesn’t make you a better person-it just gives you better choices. In some cultures, having no money and no rights makes you a target for traffickers. I first heard of the organization “Not For Sale” shortly after I had met some of my young refugee friends. It made their presentation pretty non-theoretical. I could picture some of the young people I care about and the choices they may have faced if their parents had not chosen to become refugees and take the risk of resettlement to America.
Not for sale…..
Humans as commodities, stocks to exchange,
inconveniences, expendables to be thrown away.
Their lives for sale…choices determined by $.
No! Their lives are a gift. Their lives have value!
Children of God, created with purpose-
whether they know it or not!
They have captured us, adopted us, let us love them.
Priceless treasures beyond measure…
these little sharers of laughter, of humbling moments…
Yahtzee played, meals shared, loving acceptance offered and received.
We talk of woman things and what it means
Of relationships and guys who are good
And those who are not.
Transitions negotiated like minefields….
New experiences played out each day….
We talk of Christmas trees and manger scenes–
Of Jesus, a refugee whose parents fled to safety to keep him safe.
They watched our daughter with her baby
And reflected on a mother who loves instead of leaves…
They have little “stuff”-but their father loves them.
With courage he brought them here in spite of the challenges.
They live in a “big” house (smaller than most living rooms),
grateful their father cooks for them….
Grateful for food. For friends…. for choices.
If different choices had been made,
They could be some of those who are for sale in another land…..
How do you determine the value of a human?
Of their love?
It is priceless.
It should not be for sale.