I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.
Never underestimate the power of your smile. It may give the best hope for someone who is totally devastated at the moment. Never underestimate the power of your simple “Hi!” or “Hello!” because it may lead to a great conversation for the person who needs someone to lean on. And never underestimate the power of your random acts of kindness. It may change someone’s whole life.
I saw a beautiful excerpt from a piece written about submitting to the will of God, how refusing to become childlike and obedient to the will of our Father can create “religious monsters”, people who don’t love the world but are still full of themselves. It was amazing to read about the gentleness of God’s grace, how He works in our lives as a patient, omnipotent, and loving Father. As I finished it I wondered if I would see JS Park’s name at the bottom or Francis Chan or Jeff Bethke; some of the new, fresh faces in the race of grace but I was stunned to see this piece was written in the late 15th century.
Suddenly my world became a lot smaller. I was shocked to be reminded that this new breath of Christianity, emphasis on grace and a relationship, was not new at all. In fact it’s been the point since the dawn of time. But my little world had been so full of religion and law and guilt that it became the only Christianity I knew. Then it dawned on me. Someone else looks on my walk and feels the same way. Someone may look at my walk and say, What is that? What kind of Jesus is she following?
The world is a big place full of people who live in small worlds. Itty bitty realities that only have room for one kind of Jesus regardless of that Jesus is the real thing. This made me think that maybe I should be gentler when I encounter people whose small words don’t mirror my own. Maybe I should be more loving when other brothers and sisters don’t share the view that my world has created. As long as we’re both seeking the One true Saviour then the rest will fall in place.
God can bring our small worlds together so long as we all come to Him.
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.
This is a church in Alqosh, a Christian town on the frontline of ISIS, near Mosul in Iraq.
Only a few weeks before this photo was taken, 100 ISIS fighters were killed in the neighboring village in a bloody and brutal battle which is sadly an all too common scenario. The pastor of this church was one of the FIRST people to rush to the frontline and offer help to the wounded. He was asked by the Peshmerga soldiers, “Why are you here? You are Christian?”
He responded, “It’s exactly where Jesus would be, so I go…"