Sunday, July 13, 2008

Here I Am, Lord Send Me

Today, I am blogging for the 40-Day Fast. Today is also Brody Harper's day to blog for the 40-Day Fast. Please check out his blog too.

I was very excited when I first read about the 40-Day Fast opportunity. I figured it was a great way for me to finally do something for someone else for a change. I signed up and eagerly waited for the Fast to begin. However, as the start day approached, I began to get nervous about being the right person for the job.

On day one, when Brant Hansen blogged about Compassion International, I really started to regret my decision to participate. On one hand, here's Brant who has first-hand experience serving those in extreme poverty. If you look at his picture on his blog, you see a tough, rugged guy who looks like he could dig a well single-handedly with his Swiss Army Knife.

On the other hand, there's me. I'm a soccer mom who is afraid of bugs. Actually, phobic is much more accurate. On day one of the Fast, I was talking with my husband on the phone and filling him in on the day's events. My son and I found a firefly outside of our window. We took some really nice close-up shots of it. My husband was thrilled and congratulated me on my bravery of getting so close to a bug. No, he wasn't being sarcastic. So there it is. Brant visits the slums of Nairobi. I'm cautiously approaching a firefly on the outside of my window.

It's not just my ridiculous phobia of bugs that made me question my appropriateness for the Fast. Since my husband was diagnosed with cancer, we don't do much in the way of service projects. We are the service project. Thankfully, we have had many, many people help us fight this battle over the last two years. It has been a blessing. Still, sometimes we've wondered if we have anything left to contribute, or if we have become the leeches of our congregation.

Recently, the band downhere released their latest single, "Here I Am." This song speaks of being an offering to God. It's a song I am moved by more and more every time I hear it. Here is a small sample of the lyrics.

"When setbacks and failures, and upset plans,
Test my faith and leave me with empty hands,
Are you not the closest when it's hardest to stand?
I know that you will finish what you began...

Overwhelmed by the thought of my weakness,
And the fear that I'll fail you in the end,
In this mess, I'm just one of the pieces,
I can't put this together but you can."

You can see the full lyrics and hear the song at Jeremy Thiessen's blog. This song reminds me that God knows the struggles I have been through and despite my brokenness, He can use me.

I got to see this song performed live at a music festival called Lifest and spoke to the downhere guys after the show. I shared with Jason Germain, the guy who wrote the song, how powerful the lyrics were to me. Jason reminded me that even Jesus took a break here and there. He reminded me of the story of Jesus on the boat with his disciples. A terrible storm hit. Where was Jesus? Sleeping. Jason suggested that this was my season to rest. I walked away from Jason knowing that God could use me, that God would use me, but that God was also going to give me some rest.

Today, I interrupt my rest to fast and to try and make a small difference in the life of someone else. I attend a United Methodist Church. Big denominations have big money and big responsibilities. What do United Methodists do well? We host potluck dinners. Besides that? We are good at putting together relief supplies. We have it down to a science. There are a number of "kits" we assemble in a way that makes them usable to a great number of people while also following the strict rules that often govern product entry into other countries. I am joining the United Methodist Committee on Relief to build health kits. My family and I are going to assemble a few ourselves. There is a traveling children's choir from Africa visiting the area. I will join with others in our community, build some health kits, and send them home with the children.

Today I ask for your prayers for me, my family, and people like us who sometimes feel too small to help when there is such great need. If we trust that God can overcome our weaknesses, He can and will.

"Little is much when God's in it.
He changes the world with the seeds we sow."


Amy said...

Thank you for your very beautiful and transparent post Lori. And thank you SO MUCH for being part of the fast and showing a way to get involved. When it comes to social justice, we all have a lot to learn and joining with those like the group you mentioned who know what they are doing, is best step we can take. Praying for you.

minnowspeaks said...

Brave post. I am a 49 year old mother of 5. I feel like I have just woken up to the world I actually live in (dangerous, full of pain) and not the one I grew up in (safe, comfortable). I have just gotten a world view more similar to God's. Your post is an encouragement that it is never too late and never too little. Thanks.

euphrony said...

Beautiful post. Thank you so much for sharing from your heart the doubts and fears you face, and the desire that you have to still try to reach others even in the midst of your own struggles. Potlucks indeed! Those little potluck kits will help people you'll never know.

I'll be praying for you today, and for your family in your trials.

Kelly said...

Amen, Lori! Ps. 40:1 God bless you and family!!

nancy said...

Thank you so much for sharing your heart! I'm praying for you today.

thesecretlifeofkat said...

Lori - you're heartfelt words and desire to serve even in the midst of your own family's need is SO inspiring.

Thank you thank you thank you...

Jacquelynne said...

I think we all identify with feelings of inadequacy and inferiority. Why do we tend to compare ourselves with others, and always seem to fall short? I signed up for the 40 Day Fast, and then my husband told me that Natalie Grant and Bart Millard would be participating- A mild panic attack ensued- What??? What have I done!?! How can I compete with such masterful wordsmiths and songwriters? But there is the beauty- I don't have to- and neither do you. You've done a beautiful job in sharing your heart. I'm sure God is so pleased with you...

kddub said...

Thank you for your honesty, and I will be praying for you in your familys' struggles.

I believe that for you this ay be a season where you do need the body of Christ a lot, and I don't think you should feel guilty about not doing enough, it sounds as though you are doing so much already. There may come a time in your life when you can spread the love that you have received, but for now, you have your own struggles to deal with.

I do hope that making the health kits blesses you, as I am sure it will be blessing others too.

thank you for being a part of the 40 day fast!