Wednesday, October 17, 2012

change the story

Compassion's Change the Story

sometimes, He changes our story to allow us to become a part of changing someone else's story.

there are moments when He aligns the seemingly random to collide with His perfect timing.  Sunday night was one of those moments for me. 
  
i first sponsored a child through Compassion in 2009 until he moved from Compassion's area of reach.  it was a time when God was in the midst of changing my own story, by changing my own heart, a process that is still very much in progress...
9.22.09:  the images. the statistics. a debilitating combination that paralyzes our hearts with discouragement and helplessness. my heart aches - not only with the ache of compassion - but the agony of Godly sorrow and deep regret for having been paralyzed for far too long; for having lived a life of such greedy materialism; for having given such thought, such care, such inestimable amounts of money to clothe and feed myself so far beyond what was necessary. living year after year of my life lost in lustful worldliness, constantly planning out the next nicers and newers of future seasons: a newer car, a larger home, nicer things, nicer clothes. day after day, wrought with incessant worrying about what i would wear, how i would look, what i would eat. and yet, with each and every single one of those days that passed, thirty thousand children died of starvation or preventable disease.  thirty.  thousand.
and this is the place He keeps bringing me back to.  my own proverbial refining fire.  i still struggle with finding the balance of living life in this world and surrendering my life to Him.  this is the ongoing work in me that He is faithful -  even in spite of me - to "carry on to completion" (Philippians 1:6).  He is continually, sometimes daily, changing my story in order that i have the blessing of changing the story for someone else.

and so, on a whim (or so it seemed), i decided to attend the evening service at Brook Hills with some friends.  at the beginning of the service, they announced that the Compassion exhibit would remain open afterwards for walk-ins. none of my friends could stay, so i was alone.  it was late - and the line was long.  i knew about the ministry, was committed to giving to the ministry, i didn't need the exhibit to convince me to sponsor again, but i was compelled to stay and couldn't figure out why...

the exhibit itself is powerful and beautiful, literally walking in and through the story of one child's life - and rescue from poverty, in Jesus' name.

the last portion gives you the opportunity to look at walls of photographs of children awaiting sponsorship, organized by region.  i'd already planned my own sponsorship story.  the region.  the gender.  the age range.  i'd planned to pray more about it and look at the photographs online with my children.  and yet, that nagging sense of compelling was pervasive - and persistent.   so i paused.  and perused.

and then i saw his face.... 


and i can't really describe that moment. 

i was more than compelled - and captivated. 

those moments, those rare moments of just knowing, are so far and few between in my life these days.  but in that moment, i just knew.  that moment - all the ones throughout that day had led to that moment - this moments were part of my story - to become part of His story. 

so that, in the name of Jesus and by His grace, our stories are forever changed. 

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:  
to look after orphans and widows in their distress 
and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
James 1:27

will you prayerfully consider sponsoring a child through Compassion?



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