Wednesday, February 20, 2013

On Doing Well

Absentmindedly, I allow envelopes and flyers to fan through my fingers as I romanticize about life in a small turn of the century dwelling, and then I say it out loud to my husband, as if he's been in on the conversation the whole time:

Well, that's one thing that would have been simpler back then...

A hundred years ago, I go back to thinking to myself, they would have at least had less paper competing for their attention; cluttering up space in their minds and their homes.

I'm a big fan of shredders-- I actually find using them to be therapeutic-- but I rarely get to it until I have a mountain to contend with. Instead, I decide which things are safe to discard directly and then I shove the remaining stacks into drawers, fully aware that it's a short term fix and that eventually I'll have to pull it all out again to do the job right.

The immediate goal is to make sure everything's out of sight.

The mail gets thrown into drawers because I find it overwhelming. It is a defense mechanism that triggered sometime around our first job loss when the math went all fuzzy and we realized that we had more need than we did supply.

Everything suddenly became urgent to the point that nothing was.

We couldn't let it be. Out of self preservation, we had to push it away.

Over the past couple of weeks it's occurred to me that this may be our inclination.

Shortly before this year's Superbowl, I became part of the team of Exodus Road Bloggers  who write to bring awareness to, and help raise support for, Exodus Road's efforts to fight modern day slavery in Asia. I'm not a football girl, but my interest in the game was piqued when I became aware of the growing  human trafficking conversation developing around the event, and large scale events like it.

I read articles and devoured comments for most of the evening until what struck me most was how bombarded with urgency our generation is.

Not only do we have seemingly trivial drawers full of unwanted solicitations and bills, an over-abundance of bad tidings coming at us via TV and newsprint, it's also as my friend Alia stated earlier this week:

"I can’t scroll through my Facebook feed without several posts about a charity or a good cause popping up amidst details of silly things my friend’s kids did, comical Pinterest pictures with sarcastic one liners, and high scores on Farmville.

call to justice link beckoning me to like, and share, and join in the collective chorus of voices who should care about that specific need. But there are so many. None more important than the other as they fight for our attention." 

Was I glad to see the dialogue happening? Yes.

Did I wonder at how any of us can even hear it anymore with so many other needs, none necessarily more important than the other, calling out to us? Absolutely.

I think that many times we tune out not because we don't care,  but because we already feel defeated. And truly, if we really are engaged with an enemy, why wouldn't he want us to feel that way?

When Nehemiah and his workers began to repair Jerusalem's crumbling wall of protection, it was the abundance of rubble and the voices of their opposition telling them that their effort would have no impact that almost caused their strength to give out.

Everywhere they looked, need was all that they could see. They had to have thought to themselves where do we even begin? They wanted to walk away from the mess to protect themselves.

It wasn't until they remembered who God was that they were steadied.

No one worker was was expected to rebuild the entire wall, but they did each have a valuable piece of the whole to guard, just like you and I do.

We are finite.

We can't do everything, but God is infinite and he fights for us. I'm choosing to write for Exodus Road because I don't want to allow the rubble to obscure his invitation.

I hope you'll join me here to learn more about their work, but most importantly, I want to encourage you not to grow weary in doing well.

 God is still doing very good things.


  1. From one mail stuffer to another, I <3 this post. P.s. I love the fight for justice and missions. Keep spreading the word. I so needed to read this today.

  2. I'm so glad that this encouraged you. I needed it, too. Thank you for blessing me with your comment.



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