Monday, December 3, 2012

It's Messy

I heard this song today - Matthew West & Mandisa singing "Christmas makes me cry". The lyrics are here. I've heard this song before, but now I heard it and thought of my friend Lisa and others who are struggling to find happiness this Christmas, even if they do know the crux of the season. I think of so many who are doing without - without loved ones, without children, without food, without shelter, without _____________. And I know that Jesus fills our "withouts" and that He is faithful. But I cry for those who don't know this, and who never will unless we tell them.
This week, I've had the privilege to be the hands and feet of Jesus to my coworker. Truthfully, I'm a bit nuts, and my husband is super gracious, but regardless we did it. We're watching her daughter while she's in DC for a work conference. My coworker had gotten everything set up for her daughter to be cared for while she was gone and at the last minute things went Kaplooey (technical term). So we have a 7 year old girly girl staying with us through Wednesday morning. It's been exhausting, fun, and tiring, but I was reminded it was worth it last night when T called me and told me she actually slept the night before and wasn't worried about anything knowing we were taking good care of her girl. It's been an inconvenience. Our routine, and Reed's, has been modified for a few days. Our house is chaos between the packing, dolls scattered about, Reed's toys, etc. It's not easy. But it's truly what is pleasing to the Lord.

I think we need more of that. We as in Andy and I and we as in the Church. We need more messy, inconvenient giving. That doesn't mean throw caution to the wind and do whatever is asked without giving thought to your family; Andy thought about the implications (and I did too) before we said yes. But it does mean that we put aside our plans (hard for a compulsive task-driven person like me) from time to time, and we give. Give our time, our money, our resources to be the hands and feet of Jesus. It doesn't necessarily mean you let a child stay with you for a week. It may mean that, or it may mean you buy extra cans of food to give rather than just pulling from your pantry. Or it may mean you buy fewer toys for your kids and use that money to buy awesome toys for a child in need. Perhaps it means something huge, like adopting locally or internationally. Or maybe it's simply making time during the hectic holiday schedules to have coffee with someone who so desperately needs a friend and listening ear. And then tell people why you're doing it...share Jesus with them - whether those you're serving know Him or not, tell them about Jesus and that He's why you give. We all need these reminders.

Whatever it is, we need more messy giving. The kind of giving that doesn't allow you to simply walk away thinking "well that was nice". I mean the kind of giving that leaves you drained in some way - where it takes a few days (or weeks) after for the impact to fully settle into your soul.

(Disclaimer: I'm not saying that I've mastered the messy giving; I'm simply saying this is something the Lord is working on in me, and I felt compelled to share.)


Anonymous said...

This brought a tear to my eye. Not for you or for Lisa, but for the little girl you are keeping. Not a sad tear, but a happy tear. I just imagined that little girl sitting in the floor in the middle of what you think is a "mess" playing with her dolls. Perfectly content and safe and secure. What a gift you gave that little girl. Not just her momma. I love you and Andy!! Y'all rock!!!!!!!!!!

Mrs. Renee