Note from Joan: I will be “off the grid” for a short time while Jerry and I take a much needed trip to soak up some sun. In my absence I’ll be reposting some of my favorite posts from the past. Look for a return of new material in mid February and with it an exciting announcement about what God has led us to in this next phase of our journey! Bon Voyage!
Recently I’ve been struggling with guilt. Not over something I have done, but more about what I have not. It comes from posts on social media, stories on the news, headlines in the paper and songs that say, “if not you, then who?” I am admonished by these reports to pray more, step up and act, sign a petition or tell others and together we can combat sex trafficking, ISIS, bring imprisoned and persecuted Christians home, feed those who are starving, and provide a fair wage and working conditions for the many women and children forced in slave labor, among other horrendous needs both in this country and around the world.
There is no doubt that we live in a fallen world that seems to fall more every day. There is also no doubt that God wants His people to “act justly, love mercy and to walk humbly with our God.” (Micah 6:8) I care about the people caught in these issues and want to see justice prevail in each of these situations. But sometimes I feel guilty that I am not doing enough.
Then I think about my work and life; maybe not daily but at least several times each week I hear stories of someone’s accident or illness that left them or a loved one disabled, the challenges of living with disability in a world that doesn’t always get it, or even worse the hurt and pain that comes from someone in the local church responding to someone with a disability in a way that doesn’t represent God’s heart, or the trauma in a family when disability takes time way from others. I could go on and on with examples. Sometimes these stories come from our neighborhood, sometimes from our region, and even from around the world (yes, the photo here came to our attention at the office this week when someone sent it asking us to pray and help as able).
But I, and those I have the privilege of working with, don’t just listen to those stories. We pray with the person, share a word of hope that is found in Jesus. We strategize and work toward moving people affected by disability from the margins of our society to the mainstream of Church and community life.
Then I come home and read the headlines and stories referenced earlier and feel overwhelmed. “Lord, what I read/see is horrendous; how it must grieve Your heart.” I wonder how I can do anything more and God gently reminds me that a need is not a call. There are many needs that exist out there (even some in the world of disability) that I am not called to meet or respond to. I need to be open and listen to God’s direction for me, but when He doesn’t call me to meet a need I can continue to pray for those He does.
As I release my false guilt, I’ll lift you up in prayer for the needs God calls you to meet; will you do the same for me?