"If the God you believe in as an idea doesn’t start showing up in what happens to you in your own life, you have as much cause for concern as if the God you don’t believe in as an idea does start showing up. It is absolutely crucial, therefore, to keep in constant touch with what is going on in your own life’s story and to pay close attention to what is going on in the stories of others’ lives. If God is present anywhere, it is in those stories that God is present. If God is not present in those stories, then they are scarcely worth telling." ~ Frederick Buechner

05 February 2014

One Word: A Compassion Post

One of the smaller hats I wear these days is blogging for Compassion. We receive monthly writing assignments to aid in their mission to "release children from poverty." With January came the annual challenge to select One Word that would mark this next year: "Prayerfully choosing one word that embodies the promise of the upcoming year is a discipline we've shared with you for many years. This practice of asking God for His yearly theme in our lives endows us with strength in the tough times. It renews the spirit and imbues us with purpose."

Needless to say, this is no easy task. I've been mulling over this for the past month. It is so hard to pick just One Word to encapsulate a divine promise for the next twelve months of my life, especially when there are so many unknowns up ahead. 

I read through some of the other Compassion bloggers' posts, hoping for some inspiration to hit. One of the writers had selected "Miracle" as her word, with hopes for God's supernatural hand to work in her life this year. And I got to thinking that maybe we miss the miracles in our daily lives because we don't see the way God sees.

Maybe there are hidden miracles in the mundane.

It reminded me of a passage from G.K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy, which was, hands down, one of the best books I read in my undergraduate studies.

"Now, to put the matter in a popular phrase, it might be true that the sun rises regularly because he never gets tired of rising. His routine might be due, not to a lifelessness, but to a rush of life. The thing I mean can be seen, for instance, in children, when they find some game or joke that they specially enjoy. A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, 'Do it again'; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, 'Do it again' to the sun; and every evening, 'Do it again' to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical ENCORE."

If there is anything I've learned and re-learned in my faith journey thus far, and have been reminded vividly over the past month, it is that God is always good. He is always faithful. He always makes a way -- even when the path ahead seems to end abruptly. And more often than not, His answers are much more beautiful and creative than anything I could have imagined, because "even when love says 'no' along the way, it always leads us to a greater 'yes' in the end."

So, as I await the birth of our new little one...

as we wait for answers regarding how to best provide for our family...

as I fight the daily battle between desiring what the world deems valuable (being pampered because I "deserve it", being able to afford the "right school" or "right program" for B, how "date nights" should look, how many vacations we should go on and where, etc.) and yearning for Jesus' heart for those who don't have access to running water, for children who are mutilated by their caregivers so they will garner more pity at the busy intersections where they beg for money, for mamas who feel they have no alternative other than sell their children into slavery, for those who do not yet have the Word of God in their native language...

I will shout, "ENCORE!"

Do it again, Lord! Do all that You've done and more, in my heart and in my life, and in the hearts and lives of all those around the world who call upon Your name.


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