Sunday, September 9, 2012

Feeding Others

Getting Fat on the Feast
What It Looks Like

I feel like this post today is another continuation of the two posts above.  I'm a work in progress, let me tell you.  Or else my processor is slow and it takes me a year to begin to be able to put hands and feet to all the thoughts swirling around in my head.

Lately my husband and I have experienced some tension in relation to how we are 'living', 'doing', 'being', 'spending.'  This includes: our time, our money, our thoughts, our focus, our experiences, our pride, our desires.  So this has lead to some frustrations on both our parts as we feel like we are experiencing God's silence right direction, no leading, no real clarity.  But at the same time, we can't help but feel like there is something on the horizon for us.

Let me explain: WE ARE A CHANGED PEOPLE.  Let me tell you.  I know I have spoken on this before, but I just keep stepping outside of myself and looking in, persay, and realizing that our hearts are in a completely different place.  All this time I've been waiting for direction, feeling as if change is coming...and it has been occurring this entire time.  We have been transformed over this past year.  And I don't feel like God's done with us yet.  This is what I mean by feeling something on the's like we can't go back, now.  To the way we were living before.  We can't go back to the way we spent money, before.  We can't go back to living for ourselves, now.  We can't go back to trying to make more money, to save more money, to spend more money.  No, we can't justify spending money on purchases we didn't bat an eye at before.

We feel so different.  We think so different. And this has affected so much of our previous lifestyle.  We are rethinking church.  We are rethinking friendships.  We are rethinking relationships.  We are rethinking our previous beliefs.  We are rethinking life.  Our eyes have been opened.  And quite honestly I feel it has affected the way people view us.  We aren't the only ones noticing a change.

This is what I know.  Our Spirits are craving something that had been missing.  We have this constant desire for 'more.' This desire to go 'deeper.'  This desire to be 'fed' beyond what we are experiencing.  I feel like we have been searching for this fulfillment.  We are dry.  Parched.  I don't think its the result of poor teaching in our church.  I think we are trying to fill this 'need' with something that will never be fulfilling.  We find ourselves seeking inside the church, outside the church, in books, in Bible studies, in podcasts...but coming away still, with this feeling of 'need.' 

I don't believe we really need more knowledge.  Or more steps to improve our lives.  Or another event.  Or another book.

Here it is...this is what we are needing...
To live the Word.  

Simply put.  We are simply undernourished from an absence of LIVING the Word.  We have let our faith become about us.  And our Spirit is starving.  We have let our attention fall on ourselves and lost sight of living on a mission.  To love others.  I read this line in a book recently and it has completely humbled me, especially lately, as I wallow in self-pity of throw-up and poop and whining and fatigue and mess the past 3 1/2 weeks...The largest factor in feeling unfed is not feeding others.

 Ephesians 3:17-19..."I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."

This verse spoke so loud and clear to me today.  I feel like God has clearly shifted our thinking and as a result is changing the theme for our lives.  I'm realizing we could go to the perfect church and serve on site for 10 hours a week and still feel undernourished.  This is where we were at.  We were so lost.  Another line from this book, "Fulfillment exists in becoming a slave to everyone in order to win someone to Jesus."  The last thing we feel we need right now is another sermon.  Our transformation isn't occurring as a result of a brilliant preacher unpacking the Word, it isn't through another Bible study, or Women's conference, or is coming through feeding the homeless man on the street, through aiding abandoned orphans, through lost neighbors eating dinner at our house, through Poker night with the men in the neighborhood, through sharing a glass of wine with the gal across the street...

Another quote I've run across in my searching that rocked my world and puts to words my current thoughts and frustrations...
"Living on mission where you've been sent will transform your faith journey.  I've seen missional living cure apathy better than any sermon, promote healing quicker than counseling, deepen discipleship more than Bible studies, and create converts more effectively than events..."

I feel like we have been approaching this all wrong.  Most people around us want to have a meaningful Spiritual discussion--just not with some Christian anti-everything, weirdo who doesn't even know their last name!!

Oh, don't get me started.  I get so fired up over this.  I have gotten past worry about what others might think of our new way of living.  I'm so done with trying to explain it.  Trying to argue it.  Trying to reason with people about it.

See what I mean by people seeing us differently now...? :)

We can no longer live at the intersection of extreme privilege and extreme poverty and not do something.  We can no longer rely on sermon-centered evangelism and the paid 'pro's' to reach the lost.  We are realizing that love wins over way more people than theology  We want to be missional people. Incorporating the "spirit of mission" into our natural habitat and way of life.  Not just live from mission to mission: serving once a week at the homeless kitchen, going to Honduras to drill water, helping at an orphanage in Mexico on summer vacations.

People need relationships.  They need me, as a person, loving on them.  Living beside them.  Messing up in front of them.  Being me, real. 

God made this very real to me this weekend.

I prayed all day yesterday for discernment, for forgiveness, for direction, for insight.  How to help.  How to be.  How to change.  What this will play out to be like in our lives. 

First of all, I am to pray for my husband's heart.  This is the first thing laid on my heart.  To pray for him to be affected in the same way I have been lately...for us to be changed together.  To be moved at the same time, and for us to act at the same time.  I prayed for God not to move in my heart without moving in his first.  We have to be together in this.  I am slowly beginning to get a vision of what this new life is going to look like for us, but am not moving forward (like I usually would have) to make it happen on my time in my way.  No, not this time.  I have failed so many times in this, as I get a 'missional' project underway only to feel God abandon it down the road as it becomes "my work", "my success," "my plan."

I have learned from that.  And it is a constant prayer and struggle.  But not this time.  I am waiting and learning and continuing to be changed. 

I have some ideas already beginning to form...I'm a master brainstormer.  This isn't part of the biggest vision I am having, but could easily make up parts of it..
-A cooking day with my neighbors, local mom's to bake up freezer-ready meals to take and bake.
-A walking/support group.
-A wine/dine night uptown, play some pool, chat, outside of the house, get dressed up for a change.
-Have people come into our house more regularly.  Eat over.  Even if there is food all over the walls and floor and my kids fuss through the entire meal...its real, its relational

These are just a few.  I'm ready.  I'm willing.  I'm changed.

1 comment:

  1. Oh. My Word. You get it! You've got it! Good!! THIS is how disciples are made. It's HARD. It's messy. It's real. It messes with your life.It messes with your heart. You may never know if you're doing a "good job." But obedience pleases God like nothing else. Keep leaning into it. He'll show, and Jerad...all in due time (1Peter 4:5-6). In the meantime...Omaha is still "calling" if you want company on the journey!!=)