My best friend recently bought me a book she had been trying to get me to read for a while now. It’s called “Kisses from Katie” and it’s the story of an 18 year old girl that graduated high school, moved to Uganda, and adopted 14 kids. All by herself. All because God told her to.
We agreed on reading a chapter a day and then discussing it over Voxer. I read the first chapter, cried my eyes out, and decided I had to share my reactions here. So for the next couple of weeks I will be blogging about this book, one chapter at a time.
Chapter 3: Enough to go around
Quick Summary: Katie starts to realize the huge discrepancy between what she professes and how she lives. She talks about how she feels the need to actually DO SOMETHING. In an effort to be strategic, she starts by sponsoring school fees & supplies for two girls. This stokes a fire in her to find sponsors for more children, so they can attend school, get an education, and carve out a better life for themselves and their families.
“As abject poverty confronted me every day, I felt deeply convicted about one thing: God did not make too many people and not enough resources to go around. Because we were living in His world, there had to be a solution. Everywhere I looked in the bible, from the beginning of the Old Testament to the end of Revelation, people who believe in God are supposed to share with the poor. Helping the poor is not something God asks His people to do; it is something that, throughout all generations, He instructs us to do…clearly, from God’s perspective, those who are blessed with riches are supposed to share with the poor, meaning that those who don’t have the resources to get what they need can do so, to the point that the poor aren’t so poor anymore. I looked around, though, and these new friends of mine were still destitute. I wondered what the western world was missing and why so many Christians didn’t seem to be doing what God so obviously wants us to do where the needy are concerned.”
I was out driving yesterday and while waiting for the light to change a beggar-child came up to my window and knocked, asking for money. In the Philippines you’re never sure whether that child is begging on behalf of a syndicate, or to get a fix. But I wonder…does it matter? Is it so important for me to hold on to P5 just because I’m not sure where the money would be used? I truly don’t know the right answer. But what do I know for certain? I know I can be strategic. If I don’t want to give P5 to a street kid can’t I give that P5 to a home? To a feeding program? Can’t I give of myself? Can’t I spend a day or even half a day a week loving children? Loving the poor? Loving the unlovable? I am not rich…but surely I can do without P5 each day. Why am I like so many Christians that don’t do what God has commanded us to do – help the poor. Share your belongings (Acts 2:44-45, 4:32-35). Leave something for the alien, the fatherless, and the widow (Deut 24:19-22). What am I doing?? I am not walking as Christ did. As a disciple and Christ-follower, I’m doing pretty shoddy work. Katie compares herself to “probably the worst disciple ever” – Peter, the rock on which God built His church.
“Peter is the rock on which God built His church. But first, Peter was probably the worst disciple ever. I am Peter…For each time I deny God the glory that is His, for each time I follow my will instead of listening to His, for each time I jump ahead without first consulting my Lord, He asks, ‘Daughter, do you truly love me?’ and I do. ‘Feed my sheep.’ And I will. And I do. ‘Come follow me.’ And I am, or at least I am trying. I am Peter. I mess up. I make mistakes, I am far from perfect, and God will use me. God will establish great things through me. You are Peter. God already knows that you will make a mess, but His plan for you is great. Go. Feed His sheep.”
Thank God for His mercy and His grace. Thank God that even when He sees me failing to be kind, to be generous, to be Jesus to someone less fortunate than I, He still forgives me. He redeems me. He calls me back. He offers me chance after chance after chance. He promises to use me – broken, selfish, cold-hearted me. And He sees in me someone that is whole, generous, kind. Someone that is like Him.
“When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you truly love me more than these?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ he said, ‘you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Feed my lambs.’” (John 21:15, NIV).
Here’s my action plan: I’m going to be volunteering in some way. Before the month ends I want to have found a place that I can spend some money on and some time in. I want to practically help the needy. Check in with me on this, I would love to be accountable! And I would love it if whoever reads this would join me in reaching out, loving the needy, and being Jesus to them.
To learn more about Katie and her ministry you can check out Katie’s blog here.