"I would rather have 1% of 100 people's efforts
than 100% of my own." - Andrew Carnegie
In desperation she said, "I don't know what to do. I can't do this...I need some help..." The invitation to be VILLAGE begins. I am just one and her need was greater than my strength. Circumstance has knocked this tender young life down one too many times and the wounds run deep...
It's ironic... I detest asking for help for myself--I don't want to "need" anyone. But when the asking is for the sake of helping someone I care about so deeply, I can't even hesitate--this opportunity to show another how God blesses. We aren't meant to trudge through this life alone. God knows that this beautiful young lady is a champion in the making, filled with possibility. She's just in need of an encouraging and supportive community.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith." - Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT
Sometimes the only thing between God's purpose and where we are is the UN-knowing of that "huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith." So I began recruiting--I needed help to help her. In all honesty, I wasn't expecting too much. My request was last minute; the air was more than 100 degrees; and the circumstances we would enter crackled with tension, drama, and confrontation. Who would even consider going with me into this "business" that was not their own?
But this girl's well-being and faith depended on it, so God prompted hearts. This task was more than just moving someone from place to place--it was showing her that faith can move mountains. So I began texting... First my son. He was easy--he can hardly say no to his own Mom! And he's a big-hearted guy to boot! But even though I see him as my own personal Superman sometimes, I knew that his strength was still not enough. So one by one, I texted the "faithful" who are so often willing to help if they are able. And finally, my fellow staff members. I'm not sure why I waited till last to ask those who walk beside me in ministry every week. Why would I even hesitate wondering if they would stand with me now? But you know what? They answered the call--all these whom God had chosen for this particular task. These who will continue to be witnesses with her and for her. I am humbled in my doubt and reminded that races are meant to run together. As this "village" gathered around my sweet friend in her need, they gathered around me and around each other. And as God works miracle upon miracle, one other unsuspecting new recruit with stories yet untold discovered this brand new truth for herself too. I am so blessed to be a part of a "village."
As God would have it, the work of many made light the work of one. You see, a "village" adds strength in numbers that we couldn't possible have if we run a race solo. One ant can't move a slice of bread on his own but a colony can work together and move it even if crumb by crumb. This arduous and grueling task was accomplished in a fraction of the time it would have taken had I tried to be the Lone Ranger. But there was so much more blessing than just the addition of brawn and brains...
Because of the circumstances, this was a tense and unpleasant task, crackling with confrontation. In her fear, my young friend may have backed down or run away, but our "village" came together in the spirit of Christ with love, fellowship, "can do" attitude, and most of all smiles--an encouragement that she desperately needed. Because of their presence and positive spirit, confrontation was avoided and this young woman walked through these moments with courage rather than fear. She FACED FEAR; and that "great big wolf" suddenly became not much more than a chihuahua. She can now move forward into her NEW LIFE WITH CONFIDENCE... She has a village behind her.
Just a few days ago, this precious girl was at wit's end not knowing which way to turn. She knew she had a couple of friends who would do what they could regardless how meager it might be, but today SHE HAS A VILLAGE--each member offering their 1%, 10%, or whatever God calls them to offer. Added together, even 1% can far exceed 100%; and we are all reminded, just as this now-hopeful young woman is discovering, that each one of us has a wider circle of love and support that we ever knew existed. That alone is well worth the effort to "ask for help."
"There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service,
but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways,
but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. . .
The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. . .
All of you together are Christ’s body,
and each of you is a part of it."
- From 1 Corinthians 12 NLT