Wednesday, February 08, 2012

The Power to Change the World

Imagine you're God for a moment. (Maybe that's easier for some of you than for others) Imagine all the hurt, all the suffering you see among the eight billion people inhabiting your creation. Imagine hearing all of their prayers, all of their cries, and all of their curses. Imagine having all the power to eliminate pain and anguish while appearing to do nothing about it.

If you've seen the movie Bruce Almighty, you can get a hint of this overwhelming responsibility. If you're following along in the book, Kisses from Katie, you can get that sense seeing the Third World through the eyes of Katie Davis as she adjusts to her life in Uganda.

It would be tempting in her shoes to try and fix everything. The poverty. The orphans. The lack of education. The disease, especially HIV. Given her First World resources living in the Third World she could have the power to do it. But it would be too overwhelming to fix everything. So instead, Katie chooses simply to love. You can see the seeds being planted for her future family here. She recognizes that she can't fix every problem and help every child, but she can teach and love as many children as come to her. Education leads to a better life. Love leads to a sense of family. Together those two "small" ingredients have the power to change that country.

Does God sit idly by as His creation suffers? Some would argue so. Of course, his creation is designed with some built-in rules regarding free-will, but surely He could do something, right? No, he doesn't snap his fingers to eradicate all disease. But he does move in the hearts of people like Katie, or like you and me reading about her story, to give or to serve.

It is important to keep that perspective in mind when reading this book, and I pray Katie holds this perspective as she continues in her ministry. She, or you, or I, is not alone. God moves in the hearts of the rich and the poor. Some give up everything they have to move to the other side of the world. Others build successful business that they use to fund efforts that help faces they may never see. God moves in hearts to serve in the Third World as well as to serve in the urban ghetto. God moves in hearts to adopt starving children from Africa as well as to adopt fatherless African American children. When God is moving in the hearts of his people, there is no limit- geographic, economic, political, or racial- that cannot be overcome.

No, God is not idle. And Katie is not alone.

This blog is part of a book club reading Kisses from Katie. Jason Stasyszen and Sarah Salter are leading the discussion. Head over to their blogs for more.


Sarah Salter said...

Frank, it IS overwhelming. There's little that's more frustrating than attending patients all day and then looking out the window at the line and seeing that instead of shrinking, it's grown. You give all of your energy and all of your resources and all of your money and still, it's not a drop in the bucket.

There's an old maxim: "Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime." There's a lot to that. In some of these countries, the people just don't have the skills or the "luck" to be able to break out of the cycle of poverty. They don't know how to grow crops and even if they did, they can't afford the land, the seed, or the resources. So that's why ONE PERSON, while making a difference, isn't enough to change the world--or even a country. It takes EVERYBODY, doing SOMETHING. So, my question is WHAT can I do? And what can WE do, together? This discussion is a good start. :-)

Thanks for joining us, Frank! You're a blessing!

S. Etole said...

What an excellent reminder to do what we can where we can.

jasonS said...

Thanks for joining us, Frank! I agree. We can get overwhelmed trying to fix everything at once. We can't handle it and we weren't made to. What struck me though was that when you know things can be different and you see things first hand, compassion leads us to action. God leads us perfectly, even through the difficult and hard places. Thanks so much.

Fatha Frank said...

Thank you everyone for the comments. One person is just a drop in the bucket. So the risk is that one person feeling like he/she has to do it all. But that one person can inspire others, and it spreads. Funny, the other day I was praying to be contagious. I think that's a good description of it.