When God called us to this place, I marveled, and might have said, "Seriously???"
You see, in my small town the "have nots" are never very far away and I was ever mindful that there was a population to serve, people to love on, and God's children to care for. Then God called me to suburbia.
Sure, our family could have chosen a mission field in an inner city area around here somewhere, but our call to public education, and our concession to our children in the move allowed them to have a voice in which school they would attend, which landed us squarely in suburbia.So, I turned to the Lord and said, "Seriously??? THIS is where I have been called? Manicured lawns and stone front houses and store fronts? When my heart is broken by the least of these, you put me here?"
As the Lord tends to do, He began to quietly whisper to my heart (without even yelling or shaking me by the throat like I would do if I were my kid), "These are my children, too... and they are just as broken and hurt as those with less."
Then, early in the summer, I read this amazing article. (You need to read it, too. Go 'head. I'll wait...)
Since you've now read it... RIGHT?? ... you know that it talks about just that: some of us actually ARE called to mission work in suburbia. And suburbia is no less of a mission field than Ghana, Tegucigalpa, or Nepal.
Remember my words for the year? That gentleness was one. That concept -- that I am now living in a mission field that God ordained for me -- has brought new gentleness to my day.
"Well, sure..." you think, "we all are missionaries wherever we live!" But am I really feeling it in 5:00 traffic? How about at the gas pumps in 105* heat? What about with the cashier whose elevator doesn't QUITE reach the top floor? Do I see each of those people as my mission... as people to touch for Jesus? I am trying to start to see my world that way.
Example: I live in the South (okay, Texas -- which truly is "a whole other country" per the ad campaign -- but I was raised in the South) where folks hold doors open for each other. It's common courtesy. And at a Domino's -- it's almost a no-brainer: the one coming IN has empty hands and therefore should hold the door for the one coming OUT who will likely have their hands full of pizza boxes. Truth? This is the civilized world we live in. In my mind.
So, walking into a Domino's, I hold the door open for the woman coming out. Because it's polite. But on my way out, I am juggling 3 boxes (I have teenagers -- don't judge), my wallet and my keys, and am struggling to push open the heavy door. Through the glass I can see this tiny bug of a woman smiling sweetly. Waiting ever-so-patiently for me to either drop everything in my hands or to successfully fight my way out the door. I couldn't tell which she was rooting for.
I admit I was a little frustrated thinking, "Can you not help me here? Don't you know how we do things around here? You're supposed to open the door! It's the polite thing to do..." But, first the lady's sweet smile disarmed me, and I had to look at her as my mission field and just love her. Her smile made me realize that she honestly believed that being patient was the best she could and should do in that situation.
Only Christ in me allows me to reframe may day and my world to see the mission field I live in.
What about the mission field where you live and work? What is God calling you to do there?