Like many of you, I read Ann Voskamp’s post about the truth behind the actions of ISIS and felt impotent. What do you do in the face of such evil? Yes, many of us gave money to help Preemptive Love give emergency relief, place children in school, and help women start businesses to support their families, but in the face of so much it feel like so little.
As I turned away from the computer and back to my family, I realized change starts here in my home. I know, everyone tells you that parenting well is one of the single most important tasks you will ever do, and it is. I know, it doesn’t feel like it when you’re unloading that 2nd or third load of dishes, staring down two weeks worth of laundry, or rocking a baby at 2am. Yes, I know.
But the big changes we want to happen outside our homes have to begin inside them. If I want to create a better world out there, it begins in here. So last week in our family we did more talking about kind words and how we are supposed to treat each other. Then the boys came with me to deliver a meal to someone who was sick, and even though two boys in an older lady’s house made me very nervous, I let them take the food to the door with me. As we were leaving, I had a flash back to watching my own mom visiting with older members of our church in their homes, and I realized that the service we had just given was planted in me during my early years. Little actions make big impressions.
After I tucked the boys in to bed, I thought, yes it begins here, but what more can I do?! The truth is I probably can’t help the women in Iraq beyond the money I’m able to provide. However, there are some equally vulnerable women right here in my own city who I can help. No, we don’t have ISIS going door to door shooting our husbands, but we do have women and girls just like those Ann talked about who are being abused and trafficked just down the street. More than likely there is at least several within 10 miles of where we are sitting right now. They need our help.
As I sat there that night, I realized that no I don’t have much but what I do have I can offer. I have my voice here at OverACup to speak the truth and tell others about what is going on right here in our cities. I can contact centers like DaySpring Villa in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and see what needs they have that I might fill. Little actions make a big impact.
You, too, can begin where you are. What do you have? Are you a teacher who could tutor the children brought to a women’s shelter? Are you an accountant who could offer your services to the women or shelter itself? Are you a lawyer who could advise some of these women? Do you love to cook and could teach a life skill? Do you love to quilt and could teach a skill that might bring enjoyment? Are you a stay at home mom who has a few hours while your kids are in school to visit and make friends with someone who’s hurting?
What has God placed in your hands today?
No, you may not feel called to help the vulnerable women of your community, but there are others who do need your help.
Yes, serving our church and teaching our children to do the same is a great place to start. But it can’t end there. If we only serve those within our church community, ISIS and those like them will slowly take over. We can’t care only for those in our church bubbles and expect the world to leave us alone.
Like Amber talked about last week, changing the culture in our families begins with one choice. Taking the next step. Which step do you need to take today?
- Treat each other with respect and love in your own family–make it a priority.
- Pray about outreach opportunities you can do as a family–then do them.
- Take your children with you when you serve others–verbalize what you’re doing and why.
- Evaluate what you do have: job skills, life experiences, life skills– help in your community beyond your church family.
In these ways we work to defy ISIS and others like them. We create a culture of service first in our homes and then in the community we live in. We may not have much, but the little we do have can make a big difference.