I recently read Tamera Alexander’s Revealed, a historical fiction and the second in her Fountain Creek Chronicles series. What a great series, btw.
This one is about a reformed prostitute, Annabelle Grayson, who by marriage was rescued from the lifestyle, only to lose her new husband early on in their marriage. Long story short: she needs a driver/trail guide to take her west to her deceased husband’s ranch and the man volunteering for the job is her husband’s estranged brother. He also happens to be a self-righteous Christian who can’t see past her sordid past to the new creature in Christ that she’s become.
I cried in the book when I came to their first night on the trail. Annabelle trys valiantly to start a fire to fix their evening meal, but she’s never gotten the hang of striking a spark with flint. On her 70th or so strike, she finally succeeds only to glance behind at her brother-in-law (who incidentally wasn’t offering to help her–he can’t stand her) to see that he’s already got a huge fire blazing on the other side of the wagon, and has already bedded down for the night.
For someone who already felt “unworthy” because of her past…can you imagine the defeat, the sorrow, the hopelessness?
After this scene, Tamera Alexander wrote:
“For too long she’d been untouchable, like the leper she’d read about the other night, the one Jesus so willingly placed His hands on when all others shunned him and ran the other way. Then one morning, Kathryn Jennings had appeared in her life and that sense of isolation had begun to ebb. Kathryn had touched her life first. Followed by [other Christians]…” (my paraphrasing)
Never underestimate the power of Christ in you to change someone’s life. There are so many lost people out there being swallowed up by emptiness, haunted by the lies of the evil one. Feeling they could never live up to or be good enough for God’s “standards”.
And no wonder, with us, God’s people, being too busy *in* the church to ever look out around the church for these hurting ones. We may be the only lights in their darkness yet we miss opportunity after opportunity, lost in complacency or our own troubles…how our self-absorbedness must grieve our Heavenly Father.
Take a moment and ask God who in your life needs the kindling you can offer…and while you’re at it, don’t discount the unlovely people He may bring to mind.
I don’t want to let poverty or wealth (my own or someone else’s), beauty or ugliness (again, my own or someone else’s), abrasive people or needy ones–any of these things, come between me and God’s plan for growth in our lives.
Being willing is the first step. Wanting more of Him and less of me, is the second step. Praying for Him to open the eyes of our hearts and make us extra-sensitive to the needs of those around us is a good third.
Then it’s all about stepping out in faith, even if it means leaving our campfires in favor of helping others build theirs.