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Content to Ignore

I’ve been struggling a lot lately with the gravity of what God has revealed to me about orphans and the Church’s role in orphan care. And frankly, it’s messing me up inside…in a good way, I think. The problem with having these big things revealed though, is that nothing in my world looks the same. Almost like sorting through the rubble left after an earthquake, I’m trying to pick up the pieces of my life and beliefs and decide if it is worth placing in the same spot on the shelf or toss it in the trash.

broken tiles

Most of the time, I find that God is replacing these things with something new. Something better. Him. His desire for my life.

But, when I look at Facebook, I’m often faced with the “state of our hearts.” It’s no surprise, we’re sinful people…therefore we make Facebook a sin-filled place. And when I say we…I really mean me. ‘Cause nobody likes to look in the mirror and realize you’re no better than anyone else. Truthfully, it is easier for me to see the things that need to be fixed in others than to take a good hard look at myself.

I’ve found myself reading status update after status update that leave me infuriated and mourning the conditions of our hearts. Because to me, it seems we care more about things than people. It’s everywhere I look.

New furniture!

Bigger houses!

Fancy gadgets!

New cars with every bell and whistle available!

Extravagant vacations!

And don’t forget the new wardrobe for the vacation!

Some days I can’t stand it. I want to shout from the rooftop “Life is not about YOU or ME and how much STUFF we can get!”  But I don’t, because who tells their friends how many children they could sponsor instead of their latest purchase on Facebook?

Instead, we willingly cut off our cable. We choose not to have the latest i-gadget, nor do we have any intention of getting one–no matter how cool we think they are. We limit our eating out with everyone after church on Sunday. We use coupons for everything. We rarely shop for clothing.

iPhone

And just because I do these things, doesn’t mean I think gadgets and cable are bad. No, I totally like these things….alot…maybe a little too much. It also has nothing to do with being self-righteous. The fact of the matter is that they don’t further us toward our adoption funding goal, so we cut them out. Because to us, playing with apps and fancy gadgets pales in comparison to hearing extra giggles in our home.

But I can’t help but wonder…Why do we sit next to each other in Sunday School talking about Acts and the Early Church, but it doesn’t seem to really make a difference in our everyday lives? We come to church, say the right things, and leave unchanged. Why? Why do we quickly pass over Acts 4:32-35 and how the Early Church  “gave to one another freely so that none had need“, but yet we can’t spare pocket change for poverty or orphan care when faced with it later that day?

Are we really content to ignore?

Why is it ok with us that there are over 163 MILLION orphans?  (Just so you know, that number is 19 times the population of New York City.)

Because…it isn’t ok with me.

I’ve posted this video before, but maybe you chose not to watch it then. I hope you can spare 8 minutes today.

{ 21 comments… add one }

  • alison March 11, 2011, 8:14 am

    my hubs and i just had this conversation about 3 nights ago when we both looked at each other and said, “what are we doing?” we seem to go thru this cycle of hear the holy spirit whisper (or shout) in our ears that He wants us to stop being concerned with our own comfort, house repairs, sports, activities, etc. and do something to further His kingdom. last year we felt so convicted that we started pursuing fostering (a huge fear for me) and then the agency we began to work with stopped communicating and we missed a couple deadlines and we let the whole thing go…but now we’ve picked up the threads again and are redoing the applications and praying that the Lord’s will be done in our home and that He would have His way with us.

    sorry to write so much but your post really struck a note (the holy spirit again?) with me and i wanted to let you know that you are not alone in your distress and to thank you for writing about it so powerfully.

    blessings,

    alison
    stuff and nonsense

    • Sara March 11, 2011, 1:26 pm

      Thanks for sharing your heart Alison! I really hesitated on pushing publish, but hearing you share makes it worth it! Praying with you as you follow God in His dreams for your family!

  • Diana @Hormonal Imbalances March 11, 2011, 6:25 pm

    What a lovely post. So many times I have been guilty of this on FB, because it is so hard to see everyone post happy, “look what I have” updates and not want to be included somehow.

    I really admire you for putting the goal of adopting beyond all the worldly things.

    • Sara March 11, 2011, 7:05 pm

      Thank you Diana. We’re definitely not perfect! So thankful for grace!

  • martha brady March 11, 2011, 7:27 pm

    keep up the good work of reminding us of priorities sara! doesn’t that fall under the category of “stimulating one other to love and good deeds”? thanks.

    • Sara March 11, 2011, 11:17 pm

      Thank you Miss Martha! I love your category description.

  • Mandy March 11, 2011, 10:53 pm

    Yes!! This!! Such a perfect post! Thank you for being brave enough, passionate enough to share it!

    • Sara March 11, 2011, 11:18 pm

      I’m shakin’ in my boots here, girl. It was hard to lay it all out there like that, but it HAD to be said.

  • Carisa March 12, 2011, 9:25 am

    This is how we ended up becoming inner city missionaries. That unsettled feeling just would never go away and we knew there was more for us to do for God. It only gets “worse” ;-)

    • Sara March 12, 2011, 10:12 pm

      Thanks…that’s so comforting ;) Just kidding! We’re still trying to figure out what stays and what goes in our “picket fence” world. We know we’re at the right starting point.

    • Jenibelle February 14, 2012, 9:28 am

      The abiitly to think like that is always a joy to behold

  • Shalena March 12, 2011, 10:36 am

    Just amazing Sarah!! It is like you took the words out of my head and placed them on the screen! I pray that God will bless you and Ray with that special child!!!

  • Traci @ Ordinary Inspirations March 12, 2011, 5:06 pm

    Great post! This past year we have been sponsoring our first child in Haiti. Yes, I was content to ignore for awhile… not anymore!

    Love,
    Traci @ Ordinary Inspirations

    • Sara March 12, 2011, 10:10 pm

      So glad you’re sponsoring a child in Haiti! Keep it up!

  • Melissa March 12, 2011, 8:12 pm

    I have felt like this since Radical last May…and it pains me how many believers don’t. So happy that God has opened the eyes of my heart and yours! Praying for your adoption journey!

    • Sara March 12, 2011, 10:09 pm

      You hit the nail on the head! We’ve heard of a few people picking up Radical recently….and I hope and pray that their eyes are opened and join us in radical obedience….not just “Huh, that’s a nice thought and all, but really, that would mean giving up some comfort.”

  • Teri Lynne Underwood March 12, 2011, 9:37 pm

    Sara, I hear your heart in this … and I get it, I really do. My husband and I have that same passion about the widows (also mentioned in James) and wonder how so many people can know that people sit alone during holidays and have no visitors ever at a nursing home and yet fail to give up a few moments of their time to go visit.

    I also wonder about what God thinks about how we care for the poor and oppressed in general. When I volunteer at our crisis pregnancy center and talk with the prostitutes who are turning tricks for $15 so they can buy formula for their babies … and I wonder why others aren’t willing to give more to make a difference in these women’s lives and the lives of their children.

    How much money, time, energy, focus, LIFE, are we wasting … and what is the answer?

    My prayers and study and desire to understand God’s plan for me has led me to the place I am … and I’m learning to rest there. To share my heart and invite others to join me in pursuing God.

    Thank you for this post.

    • Sara March 12, 2011, 10:07 pm

      “How much money, time, energy, focus, LIFE, are we wasting … and what is the answer?”
      I don’t know…which is why I’m still struggling with all of this! It’s been hard for me to have these things revealed to us, but not have things revealed to our group of friends yet. While we know God is going to use us influence the people surrounding us…it’s so hard. Pray for my attitude!

  • Mrs. John Jennings March 13, 2011, 8:54 am

    It is my prayer that you continue to reflect on such issues. We are a nation that other Christians overseas say we are 30 miles wide and half inch deep. Far too often shallow faith exist instead of contrite hearts willing to say, not my will but God’s will be done. The Christian walk is about being living sacrifices, dieing to self not gratifying it or esteeming it. How are we to esteem something we are to die to. We are not to live in poverty but not in excessiveness either. There is a big desire for the “Amish” life and way because of its simplicity. However, their lives are based in contrition. One does not have to leave behind the modern conveniences to accomplish simplicity. My husband and I grew up poor and we are still poor by some standards. Old fashion resourcefulness is now the new “recycle, reuse and reduce”. Simplicity is merely learning contrition, denying self and seeking the will of our Father in heaven in such a way as to continue being humbled by the Word of God even with great revelations. Most of the time we never buy new if we can find an older model and fix it up, because a lot of folks throw things out that still have a lot of use left in them. And we often do not have the funds to buy new. The issues are that due to the preaching of prosperity the benevolent work of God is left up to the government. This is growing government’s need for more programs and more money to run them, so taxation is increasing. This is what put an end to many societies in the past and Christendom has learned nothing from studying history. My people parish for the lack of knowledge, this is the fear of the Lord first and foremost. Got to run duties call.
    Mrs. J.

  • Bobbie March 15, 2011, 11:57 pm

    I’ve always knew that I would (and will) adopt one day. It is hard to live in this world and not try to keep up with the joneses. I think the thing I have learned the most lately is that God gives me everything I need. Therefore the fancy clothes I drool over, I don’t need them.. I have what I need, given by God. The new van that doesn’t have chocolate milk stains bigger than the actual van itself? I don’t need it, I have what God has provided and it is more than enough. Right now we are saving for a new house because ours is tiny and our neighborhood is bad. But when we’re in a safer and bigger place, we’ll bring our fourth child home.. not from the hospital but we’ve never brought a baby home from the hospital anyway (homebirthers) We’ll bring them to our family because God gives us what we need. They need a family and I need another child to love and fill me with joy.
    Thanks for sharing your heart. I know that can be extremely hard.

  • Susan {Lilbear} March 17, 2011, 2:42 pm

    Way to be brave, Sara! This so needed to be said. Since my eyes were opened and my heart was turned to kids through Compassion Int., I see everything differently. I get real ticked when people don’t get it…until I remember that I had scales on my eyes, too. Thanks for your heart!

    Susan {Lilbear}

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