Days like today are hard to make sense of. I mean, it’s not the actual day, but, rather, the culmination of days and days and days of difficult news that has trickled in like a steady stream of pebbles into my heart. I don’t know if it’s a capacity my heart has to bear weight or a tendency to be in denial, but today I’m feeling the weight.
I don’t watch the news, barely read the newspaper, and get updated on current events when my friends start posting on Facebook. I’ll click on their links or research the breaking news. Depending on how close to home it hits determines how wide open my heart is to that trickle of pebbles.
I’ll be honest, some stories I have to just let flow over me…not because the stories aren't important or moving, but with 24/7 news coverage, a Facebook feed full of articles and information and discussions, well...I think it's more than this human body is designed to take in. I just can’t. It’s too much. If I wanted to, I could have a steady flow of bad news coming in and still not be aware of all that is going on in the world, much less what is going on in my neighbor’s house next door.
And because of the weight of responsibility I’ll take on when I learn of a tragedy or a problem or an event that is calling my name to come help, I keep my line of sight pretty focused. I’d collapse under the weight of it all otherwise or become emotionally and mentally incapacitated to help anyone anywhere if I felt like I should try to do all of the things.
[I don't know if I'm saying this very well. I hear in my head the voices of those who I know who are passionate about their causes telling me that I'm turning away from important things when really, I'm not turning away from anything or encouraging anyone to turn a blind eye to be comfortable...so bear with me as I try to articulate what it is that's on my heart.]
I’m thankful for Heidi Baker’s message to love the one…that one face in front of me is the one I’m responsible to love. I feel helpless and even a bit hopeless when I look at the ENORMITY of problems just in the small amount of news I allow to filter in and then feel paralyzed and do nothing.
So I look at the one.
And even then I lack…I lack compassion and commitment and resources and I struggle to not pull back because of all of the “not enough” reasons that step into view that make the one thing I have to contribute seem like not worth giving.
It’s all a lie... “not enough” and “not worthy” are demons of an insidious nature that keep me from doing even just one thing. I look at friends who are movers and shakers and generate momentum and gather people to create movements with huge impact, and then I look at what I have to offer and decide to put it back in my pocket because it’s that small and because I can hide it there.
But what I don’t know for sure, and who I haven’t taken into account when I close my hand and stick my fist into my pocket, is the God who created me and formed me and what happens when He breathes on my offering.
I heard someone say that we can see how many seeds an apple holds, but only God knows how many apples are contained in a single seed.
Just pause and think about that for a moment.
This idea sinks deep and sheds light on a lie I’ve believed for a long time, one I need to be untethered from, one that says that what I have to give is simply not enough and not worth giving unless it is measures up to some standard out there that I perceive to be legitimate.
The truth is...what I have to offer matters because it comes out of who I am and how God has created me to be. It’s a seed, a Heather-seed, and it’s prideful and presumptuous of me to withhold it, as if I could know the impact or importance of the small act I have to share.
I’m writing all of this to encourage those of you who are like me, who are easily overwhelmed by all of the problems in the world…in your world...and who want to hide your contribution because you don’t feel like what you have to give matters enough to make a difference.
I’m here to tell you that you can help. There is something you can do. And what you have to offer and where you feel led to give may not be what everyone else considers to be the most important issue at hand. But that’s ok. It doesn’t matter. The Creator of the Universe is well aware of what He’s placed inside of you and where those seeds, those gifts, those talents will be sown.
And He is totally ok with it.
In fact, He may be leading you to plant a seed in an area that today feels like it’s obscure and unimportant in the eyes of the world, but because He blows on it and because He is God and His thoughts are higher and His ways unfathomable…that obscure area where you place your seemingly insignificant gift may very well be the place that feeds thousands, provides for cities, and transforms nations.
I certainly don’t know. You don’t either. And neither do any of your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or wherever you feel you’re being measured and compared.
Only your loving and benevolent God knows, and He is calling you today to set aside your feelings of not enough and not worthy and to just do that small thing that’s on your heart to do.
Do it, and be glad. Rejoice in the power of God to multiply your efforts beyond anything you could ask or imagine. Give thanks and watch as He grows your courage and confidence and empowers you to love the one who then loves the one who then loves the one who then loves the one…and on and on it goes.
So today I’m going to do my small thing. And I’m going to commit to keep doing those small things and to allow my heart a break from holding this weight of fear and worry and sadness and grief.
I’m going to trust that God will lead me and guide me into the places where what I have to offer will matter most (or matter some, because “most” makes it seem perfectionistic and I don’t want to go there).
And whether it’s one thing or 20, I’ll give and believe that what I do matters.
I am passionate about helping people to become all they are created to be, leaving behind old patterns of thinking, of eating, of feeling, to embrace the life they are meant to live. If you’d like me to walk with you on this journey, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s discuss a plan that works best for you.