Mission: Look Up

After more than a year of work and planning, we’re finally launching the K.I.D. website today. The launch has got me thinking about exactly what I hope to accomplish through this book: Mission: Nothing is Impossible. I suppose the simple answer is that I want believers to raise their children seeing love, joy, peace, patience, and so on, as the powerful tools that they are. I want believers to see gentleness and kindness as possessing great strength. I want the weapons of our warfare to seem a little less invisible and a little more tangible—ready for daily use.

The longer answer, well, that can’t be told without going back a couple of years. My husband and I were separated, and I was stretched thin in every area of my life. Quite frankly, I felt poor and pathetic—until, that is, I began to meet those who saw my family as the epitome of health and strength.

It was a sunny spring morning the first time I met Lilly. A short fence and about an acre of land separated her home from mine. I’d often looked over at her trailer and wondered when someone was going to cart it away. It never crossed my mind to think that someone lived inside. I hadn’t noticed the smoke coming out of the chimney, though I’d learn to look for it every morning just to make sure she was still alive.

We both made our way to the fence line to have a neighborly chat. When it was time for me to excuse myself, she made the first of many statements that now echo through my memory, “I have wanted to meet you and your children for so long.” I hadn’t even known she was there, but she’d been anxiously waiting to meet us.

Over the course of the next year, Lilly became somewhat of a permanent fixture in our home. Because she lived without hot water or plumbing to her bathroom, we invited her over to shower. Because she lived without electricity, we often left hot meals on her doorstep. And because she didn’t have any teeth, I made soups all through the summer. None of these things were difficult or costly for us, and we began to see ourselves as a family with something to offer. This, of course, inspired us to greater service, and stealthy late-night firewood deliveries became known as “secret missions.” As a result of our new-found confidence, we were also inspired to see what we could do for others. You see, our lack of service didn’t stem from seeing others as beneath us as much as it did from feeling that we ourselves had nothing to offer. As believers, we should never feel this way.

Lilly has been gone for over a year now, but the grateful tears of our dying friend left a permanent stain on my heart. The lesson she taught us was simple: look up. You may feel tired, overwhelmed, poor, pathetic, and unable to influence any real change in this lost and dying world, but He will always bring you someone to love and to serve. And they are probably closer than you think.

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