“And once you live a good story, you get a taste for a kind of meaning in life, and you can’t go back to being normal; you can’t go back to meaningless scenes stitched together by the forgettable thread of wasted time.”
― Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life
She couldn’t help but be contagious. She would light up every time she spoke on Jakarta, of the things she had seen and the passion and desire God has set on her heart; to see lives transformed and children running in full bellied laughter and freedom… because finally they had found their value and their significance, a true hope.
I sat there at the edge of my seat as I heard how God had weaved this vision, this cause, this story together. A story of epic proportions. And as I listened through the backdrop of a cool spring afternoon and through the ramblings and chatter of coffee drinkers I couldn’t help but think of my story… or rather “our story…” What is it that gets us out of bed in the morning? What is it that fuels our convictions? Our thirst for something bigger and greater than ourselves? what does it truly look like to live a radical life for God?
*Image courtesy of an Indian travel website.
And these questions took me back to the words of Joseph De Souza a true Indian man whom is leading a great movement for the Dalit’s of India through the Dalit Freedom Network. In case you do not know the Dalit’s are considered the “untouchable” people of India based on the societal caste system. Dalit people are the ones whom get the terrible jobs in society which include cleaning latrines with their bare hands, and their children are often times excluded from schooling because of their caste status.
So you can only imagine the words and the passion that only came from this audacious Christian man whom was living a story bigger than him… words like:
There is no such thing as passive Christianity….
When was the last time you felt righteous anger….
These are the conversations that leave you pondering… What am I really doing?… And I by no means do I want to dismiss your work life, and the certain season you are in your life. Because the truth is life can get pretty busy and we get complacent and forget that we are more than just ordinary. We forget that…
[We] are more than dust and bones… [we] are Spirit and power and image of God, and we have been given today. (Shauna Niequist)
We forget that we are a part of his unfolding story and his story is more than ordinary. You might be thinking but I am a fulltime mom and sometimes I barely have time to make it out of the house in one peace… But let me tell you friend; that is a life and a story of epic proportions. You have been entrusted to lead your children in the ways of the Lord!
We are all called to make a difference in our worlds. And that friends can look as easy as inviting someone for coffee and encouraging them… it doesn’t have to look like moving to a hut in the middle of some remote jungle (although some of us may choose to walk in that direction).
*Image courtesy Pinterest.
But its about taking today and making it count and not just getting by…but breathing life and purpose into those around us and believing that our God is greater than he that is in the world. Its about loving our neighbor… its about a forest.
What a forest? Yes friends a forest.
Let me explain. If you think of the purpose of a single tree it can be pretty impressive. From a tree can come a variety of different utilities… things like paper, and lumber, and chocolate (cocoa trees), fruit, a home for animals, shelter if your in a storm and water if you dig deep enough… but the tree also gives life. It has the power to intake carbon dioxide and produce oxygen… And if one single tree can produce life by producing oxygen imagine a whole forest… Inhaling in a beautiful symphony and extracting, exhaling life…
Imagine this as the body of Christ. With us all taking the little that we have to impact the world around us… our stories and his becoming a life giving tree that bears fruit in every season… a body that moves, lives, breathes and loves. All of us in a beautiful symphony orchestrating something far greater than ourselves. Realizing that this is not “my” story but OUR story. Because OUR story holds more power…
And this is what makes (my friend) Stephanie and Joseph live a life that is not just theirs but ours…Ours because they belong in the body of Christ, the same forest… and inviting others into the redemption plan, others that are standing out in the rain away from the shelter…
Let us invite into the Redemption Story; and remember that every day offers us a way to live out a greater story, for his glory, in his “forest.”
He said to me I was a tree in a story about a forest, & that it was arrogant of me to believe any differently. And he told me the story of the forest is better than the story of the tree. –Donald Miller-
**These thoughts were written as part of reflections I conjured whilst reading through the memoir of Donald Miller; A Million Miles in a Thousand Years… & Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist.