I never thought entering a contest and rallying your people to win would pull, stretch, challenge, or exhaust me as much as this #styleforjustice contest with Noonday and IJM has.
I have experienced nearly every emotion I can think of over the last several days. It has been exhausting.
Each day as I sat with my husband and reflected on the day, my response nearly every time was I would rather be hated than ignored.
I would rather people hate me than never acknowledge my existence.
I would rather people type mean and ugly things all over my Facebook page, than completely ignore my desire to be a part of this trip.
Each time I said this, my intentions were selfish.
I would see friends sharing and supporting others in their endeavors, whatever that may be, and I would think why do they not even notice me. Why don't people care about me?
As the competition continued I felt less like this and more overwhelmed and humbled that my people and my people's people would help me move up OVER 100 spots in just a few days.
That thought, however, of rather being hated than ignored was burned into my mind.
As the words swirled around in my head it finally hit me.
I am so guilty of doing this.
There was a little girl in Brady's class all year. This little girl lives on our short, dead end street. I had no idea until the last 2 weeks of school. There were 9 kids in his class. I have no excuse as to why I never realized they lived only a few houses down. I failed to acknowledged their existence in our lives.
Our worship services are filled each Sunday with people no one ever notices.
Our students are sitting in classrooms and no one ever notices the battle they are fighting at home.
People are starving right under our noses and we are too busy to even believe it.
Women and girls are being used and sold and it is easier to just pretend it doesn't exist than to care.
Children often scream, yell, fight, bully, and bite in order to be noticed. They often do these things because they would rather get in trouble than be ignored.
They would rather be hated than to never be acknowledged.
We have become busy, selfish, and indifferent in many ways. The story of Annanias and Sapphira in Acts has long been the most disturbing story in the Bible for me. Basically what happens is they sell all their belongings, but agree to lie to the apostles about the sum and agree to keep a portion for themselves. When they come forward to offer the money, they are caught in the lie and struck dead before the apostles. There is a little more, but this is the basic idea.
It is crazy, disturbing, and unbelievable. I am sure there are many conclusions you could draw from this story, but one that screams out to me is that there is great danger in claiming to be all in, but in reality being half-hearted. Annanias and Sapphira believed what they had seen and heard and even acted on it. However, they couldn't fully commit. They were lukewarm. They wanted to serve both masters. They were in a sense indifferent to the call of God.
When our hearts become indifferent, we are in great danger of death.
Indifference leads to a group of people who know there is work to do, but don't care if it is done or not.
I believe indifference is Satan's greatest tool. I believe indifference is the way to hurt someone in the most damaging way.
I wanted to go on this trip to Rwanda, not to save the people there or elevate myself, but to give them faces. I wanted to hug them and tell them I love them and I care. Hear their stories and love their babies. Tell them they are important to me and allow others to see they are real, they are human, and they have worth.
As it stands it is very unlikely I will move up the 48 spots or so I need to be in the top 7 and move forward in the competition. I would still love the opportunity, but I am okay if this is not mine. I know more opportunities will come. I hope when they do, I will be able to say yes. I hope I will be able to notice. I hope I will care.
Until then I am challenging myself, and you too if you want, to look for the unnoticed in my life. Maybe it is someone on your street, maybe it is the bully in your school, maybe it is the defensive, bitter man in your community, maybe it is a grandmother unable to get out and about, or maybe it is a small child or husband you have put on the back burner.
If my hands are the only hands Jesus has, I want to wrap them around the broken and unloved.
If my mouth is the only mouth Jesus has, I want to use it to speak words of love and Jesus.
If my feet are the only feet Jesus has, I want to walk where people need to see him.
In order to do these things and have them mean something, I have to care and love first.
Where is your heart indifferent? What areas do you need God to soften your heart and open your eyes? How can we let people know we care?
Thank you, friends, so very much for loving and caring about me through this. You have taught me so many lessons on community, love, and support. I am incredibly humbled by your support and desire to make this happen for me. The amount of kind words, texts, and messages shared with me over the past several days have overwhelmed me. I love you. I need you. I care about you. Thank you!
You can still vote until Wednesday here.