The season of Advent is upon us. All around are reminders of the conflict that many of us feel – preparing our hearts for the humble arrival of our Savior while rushing out to grab the best deals to wrap and place expectantly under the tree.
We had spent the morning in the drizzle doing yardwork for my parents. We were a tad dirty and hair looking more than a little disheveled. I wanted to run into Walmart for just one quick thing. The girls begged to walk instead of riding in the cart that I usually use for “easy containment”. “OK,” I said. “As long as you hold on to the side as we zip through the store.” Everyone was in agreement. Until they weren’t.
One warning. Two. And on the 3rd I swooped her up into the cart. She was not happy and let everyone know about it. Determined to keep my cool, a smile on my face, and not enter into her “moment”, we zipped to the checkout with our single item, paid, and headed towards the car. The child still-on-foot climbed quickly into her seat, the other continued to sit screaming mad in the cart as I opened the back of the car. A woman probably 10 years younger than me, with pink hair of varying lengths, and tattoos started to walk past and then stepped back. “I’m not a creeper, I promise,” she said with a cautious smile.
“I was wondering if you need a turkey,” she continued. I told her we didn’t, but gave her some ideas of different places which would be blessed by a donation. “Ok! I just wanted to make sure you have what you need. I know kids are expensive,” she said as she started to walk away.
I have been thinking about our interaction ever since it happened. There are a couple of things that I keep coming back to: 1) What must she have thought about herself to need to add in the qualifier of “I’m not a creeper” in before connecting with me in conversation and what does it say about our world that she felt I might question her motives? 2) Her words and her attempt to bless me and my family have had a far greater impact than the turkey ever would have made; 3) The world is in great need of more people willing to reach out in kindness and connection.
It is personal. The call to serve. After 9.5 years, Into the Field continues to serve as we believe the Lord is leading. We pray for clarity and direction. Like the shepherds on the hill that night 2000 years ago, the way we serve isn’t big and flashy. We don’t have a grand “signature” project through which we seek to serve and bless others. The mission which we began continues – to serve the servants around the corner and around the world. We seek to be an agent of kindness and connection – showing the Lord’s love to both those who need and who serve Him. This is seen as we raise up young, future servants as they assemble Blessing Bags for the homeless and bake cookies for those in shelters; provide care and support for orphans overseas; encourage, speak at, and help host a retreat for adoptive moms; serve and nurture ministries as they grow; and more.
I recently heard a speaker share, “it is in the field taking care of the sheep that God often does a great work in us.” The verse that we claimed as ours back in 2008 is as meaningful now as it was then, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)
Our heart’s desire is to be out in the field watching for opportunities to serve others all while glorifying God. Will you join us? You can make an online gift HERE or send a check to us at 1161 Bethel Road, Suite 101, Columbus, Ohio 43220.
Pray big…believe big…big things happen!