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Monday, October 29, 2007

Open Hands

Last night we went to the Brazillian church to hear praise reports about our friend's recent mission trip to Brazil. It was the sweetest thing to sit there and watch people worship Jesus in a tongue that I could not understand. Their faces and their uplifted hands showed their love for Him in a way that I think I have never thought about before. I get in such a rut of thinking that the whole world is like me... just an English speaking American. But there, on the same church campus, was a group of people who looked a little different and spoke a different language just praising God with all their might. It made me realize that we really ARE sisters and brothers in Christ no matter who we are or what language we speak.

One of the men that shared talked about playing soccer with a group of Brazillian soccer players. He likened it to a group coming from Brazil and wanting to play in an organized team here in America... like a college team or even the NBA. These men welcomed our American friends onto their field and they played together. As they left the field our friends wanted to share about the love of Christ, but the men were scattering. Disappointed at this missed opportunity they walked to the nearest square hoping to share their faith with anyone they could find. But there in the square was the soccer team! Our friends had the chance to share the gospel and 20 young men prayed to receive Christ that day!

This man had a soccer ball in his hands. Others that went had dentistry items in theirs so that they could perform oral exams on children and meet some medical needs. All that went had Bibles in their hands.

What is in my hands? I have some extra clothes that I need to get rid of. I have some ability to sing and I am pretty creative. I have a special education background and worked with special needs kids for a while.

What is in your hands? Perhaps you can sew. Perhaps you have the ability to build things. Maybe you are great at getting things organized or preparing a meal.

We are SO blessed in America. Every one of us has a Bible or two in our homes. Each one of us knows the importance of an education and so we have knowledge that most of the world does not have. We have resources that would just baffle the minds of some who live a world away.

I just wonder if our hands are open? Yes, we do have these things and more, but do we hold onto them so tightly that we neglect to see God's plan for them?

Several years ago a family in our community had a bad house fire and they lost everything. I was not married at the time and my room mates and I decided that we would get somethings together to give to this family. We found out what sizes they wore and tried to get somethings together that would meet some immediate needs. I remember collecting some bathroom items and kitchen items that I had used in college that were still in good shape, but we didn't use them anymore.

As I walked into the bedroom of one of my room mates to see what she was collecting I noticed a sweater lying on her bed that she had worn to work the day before. I said, "You just wore that. You are not giving it to this family are you?" I will never forget her reply. " Melissa, they have nothing. Why would I only give them the things that I have worn out? They need things, but I don't want them to just have to settle for my leftovers. I can go buy a new sweater tomorrow if I want. They need everything!"

What she had in her hands was not only some clothes that she could give, but she also had a willing heart to be used of God. She was not willing to just give her leftover or worn out things, but she was willing to give her best for the sake of the needs of others.

The Brazil praise time really helped me think about the things that I have and the way that I use them. If we have ANYTHING that can bring someone to Jesus why do we hold onto them so tightly? He calls us to share His Word with anyone who will listen and He has gifted us to share in different ways.

A soccer ball. A sweater. A dentist kit. A willing heart. Each of these brought someone closer to the throne of grace. It's time to look around and see what we have... then get busy sharing it!

1 comments:

Tracy Berta-daughter to the King, wife, mother, speaker, writer said...

Melissa,
Amen, Sister! This was a beautiful post! God, may my hands always be open to share Christ's love with others.

Love your new look!!!!

Blessings!
Love,
Tracy