As a blogger/photographer, it is assumed that I will be living and breathing this activity 24/7. Now…for the most part…that is correct. It usually takes me about an hour to shut the mind down at the end of the day, and then I wake up and my mind is already racing with thoughts and words that I need to quickly transfer to paper or computer.
This week, I have found an unexpected joy in connecting with those who are hurting or need encouragement. Whether it is encouraging the father who's son and daughter-in-law are facing tremendous difficulties with their pregnancy or listening to other team members who need to share. When you feel the prompting of the Holy Spirit, you better listen to it, because it is relentless (almost annoying at times when you don't act as quickly as it wants you too). As I stood in the back of the main service last evening, this father (also a pastor) stood next to me. I felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit to put my arm around him and let him know that I care about what is happening in his family. When I did not act as quickly as the Holy Spirit thought I should, He became persistent until I obeyed. We don't have access to people's heart like the Holy Spirit does. He taps us on the shoulder and says,
“I want to use you right now for a specific purpose.”
Even now, as I write this post (or rather edit it), the Holy Spirit taps me on the shoulder and says
“I want you to take a picture of this man, his wife, and their grandson. Go now.”
I realize that my work is not just in writing or photography or video, it is understanding the human heart. A heart that experiences great difficulty at times. People need encouragement.
God uses us in many differet ways. It is in the hug of a woman who serves in a refugee camp day-in and day-out as one of them. A woman with no permanent home, a stranger in a land that gives her refugee status. When you place your arm around someone and simply ask,
“How can I pray for you”
the flood gates open and they share things with you that have been trapped in their soul. They have a burden for the lost, and sometimes they just need to share their struggles with someone. I have only met this woman once, during my trip in the spring, and yet she was so happy to see me.
It is in the calling of someone by their given name and to see the look of shock on their face that you know who they are.
It is in the casual conversations with people you you have just met while showing photographs.
It is in the moments when you watch the sun set over a beautiful lake sitting on your favority bench, and realizing that life really can slow down.
It is in the wonder of a child's smile and inquistiveness of a language I do not understand.
It is in the sharing of our life's story. The way we met Jesus. The way He continues to reveal himself.
It is in the simplicity of laughter over UNO or Twister.
It is in the majesty of a ripple, reminding me that one simple word, look, phrase can have eternal impacts.
It is in the sound of jet engines that echo through the sky like thunder rattling the earth to its core.
All these things are fresh and new within each and everyday that God has ordained for us.
What has God laid out before you in your ordained day? Do you see it? Do you feel His tap on the shoulder?
I would love to hear your thoughts. You can leave a comment here.
[This post is part of the Summer Missions Trip 2011 series.]
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