Last night, my good friend Jen Hatmaker came to speak to the women of Austin Stone. The message she speaks so clearly is one that has been haunting me for the last several months. And with each passing day, the emotional angst I feel about it boils hotter and hotter inside. Somedays, I literally could (and do) scream it is tearing me up so badly. I don’t know how else to let out some of the steam but to stand alone in my house and just yell at the top of my lungs… to no one. Somedays, all I can do is wail in tears, writhing on the floor, the couch, the bed… wherever. Last night was one of those nights. I came home from her talk, and I boo-hoo’d on my couch. Then went and boo-hoo’d in my bed and ended up crying myself to sleep. I am surprised I could even fall asleep because the emotions that stir in my heart about this subject make me feel so restless inside. So, what the heck did she talk about, you ask?! Our generation’s call to action.
In an excerpt from her book, Ms. Understood, which she used in her talk last night, she says: “If you are a woman [or man] born into wealth (meaning you make more than $2/day unlike HALF the world) & part of the next generation, I believe you were chosen—before the foundation of the world—to BE an answer to problems unsolvable until now. This generation was selected for THIS time—a time so promising & passionate, it has never been rivaled. There is a holy calling awaiting this generation. We are the ones.” (p. 178)
“Jesus said that His gospel was good news for the poor, sick, orphaned, and oppressed because His people would BE His hands and feet. We are part of the reason the gospel is good news. If God instructed His millions of followers to care for the poor, and those followers have every resource to do it, then the impoverished have hope. [Conversely, if God instructed His millions of followers to care for the poor, and those followers have every resource to do it—and we DO NOT, woe to us for the wrath that will befall us!] We are the Almighty’s plan to alleviate suffering. Help is on its way.” (p. 180)
“Enter you. Enter me. Enter the church awakening from her violent slumber. How will we answer one day if we fail to intercede?
‘God, I didn’t know’?
‘I didn’t have any resources’?
‘I was overwhelmed’?
‘I didn’t think You were serious’?” (p. 180)
I could also add: ‘I was too busy’?
‘It required me to change too much of how I live life’?
‘It required me to give up too much of what made me comfortable’?
‘I was distracted by work, internet, boys, or church activities’?
‘I didn’t know where to start’?
“Never has so much wealth been concentrated in the hands of so few. (Let’s quickly redefine ‘wealth’: if you make $35,000/yr, you are in the top 4% in the world. $50,000/yr? Top 1%.) The skills, resources, & opportunities for social revolution are unprecedented. With the extraordinary advantages of global communication & technology, there isn’t an international problem that cannot be answered by this generation. We are economically, ecologically, & electronically sophisticated. We are globally organized, positioned for action, & dead serious about social justice & the intersection of the church.” (p. 177)
“The only answer for our generation is to BECOME the hands and feet of Christ. Jesus said, ‘From the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked’ (Luke 12:48). Let there be no doubt: Our generation has been entrusted with more resources, wealth, opportunities, and knowledge than any before us. God must think highly of our potential. Let’s not squander our legacy on self absorption or chasing the American Dream, a dream the rest of the world cannot even afford. But may we hear from our Savior one day: ‘Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me’ (Matt 25:40).” (p. 181)
This kills me. And yet, I haven’t quite figured out how to wholly deal with it. Hence, the unrest and inner turmoil that is plaguing me day in and day out. I cannot see how I can respond without changing EVERYTHING about how I live… which feels terrifying. But I have a feeling that it will be the most liberating, satisfying, and peace-bringing shift of my life.
I pray that the Holy Spirit brings continual conviction upon my heart. And I pray that God fills me with boldness to move forward. I pray that He brings the same sense of holy fear into your hearts as well… that He might move you to action. I don’t want to waste any more time. The Bible says our life is a vapor and we do not know when our time is up… I don’t want to end my life still trying to figure out what to do with all this.
To purchase, Ms. Understood: http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?item_no=062163&netp_id=510489&event=ESRCN&item_code=WW&view=covers