Sunday, January 25, 2009

"I'm here for you!"







Yesterday, my family and I went to the rally and march for life in Fort Wayne. The speakers and the testimonies always inspire me. I am always touched by the fact that we have people like Mark Souder who continue to fight for what’s right in Washington. He spoke at the rally, and his words were encouraging (despite the fact that fighting for life will be even harder with Barack Obama in office).

We also heard from Shawn Carney, who is one of the original founders of the Forty Days for Life campaign. One of the most moving things that he said was that it’s not about making abortion illegal, but UNTHINKABLE!!! Indeed, THAT’S the goal!! We can change laws, but what REALLY needs to change are hearts!! (Pray!!)

Actions really do speak louder that words! We have to be active, involved, and hands on! We have got to SHOW that we care, and we do that through prayer, providing help/aid to those that need it, and being the hands and feet of Jesus instead of just His mouth. In fact, Chad has been addressing that very thing in his recent sermons (haven’t blogged the sermons lately…sorry!). He has been reminding us about what “church” is (and it’s not a building! It’s PEOPLE!). Each “faith community” of Christian brothers and sisters combine together to make up ONE CHURCH - the body of Christ. And because we are a BODY, we need to be a body that moves!! The hands and feet of Jesus need to be going and doing. Yes, rest has its place, but we need not be the “butt” of the body all the time.

So, how do we get moving and start seeing real “change” in this world? Well, you have got to demonstrate that you care and that comes through continuing to spread the Good News (and doing it in the most gentle and compassionate way possible)! We’ve got to keep standing together, helping each other, reaching out, and actually DOING things that support what we stand for!! For example, there are LOTS of people that say that they are pro-life, but what good is it if you merely say it and don’t DO it? Why is everyone so afraid of rolling up their sleeves and getting involved? I’m not just talking about marching, talking about it, or pestering our senators and congressman to do what’s right. What I’m especially pushing for is people to say “you can count on me!” It’s about helping out your crisis pregnancy centers, giving help/counsel to a scared pregnant mom or a post-abortive woman who is hurting, providing a soft place to fall/shoulder to cry on, developing a connection with the people you help, etc. It’s not just a “cause”; it’s PEOPLE!! Putting it more simply, the cause IS people and investing yourself in them by building a relationship/connection and fellowshipping with them. How much more is a person’s heart touched based on a personal relationship connection? How often do we display our love and compassion by pouring out our hearts in service to others? How often do we drop to our knees in humble service (literally or metaphorically) and wash peoples’ feet like our own Savior did?

Talk is cheap. Though, it’s not to say that words are not necessary or effective. Most of you reading this know that I am a “words” kind of girl (you can tell by how much I blog! LOL). I write to motivate, inspire, and encourage because it‘s one of my spiritual gifts. Words ARE important, but they are only worth as much as the heart that‘s behind them. Many of you reading already know this because I have been “active” in your lives (and you in mine!). When I say I’m there for you, I MEAN IT (and prove it!). Lots of people, including myself, say “if you need anything, I’m here for you“. I can’t speak for everyone, but sometimes that phrase is taken a little too lightly. It kind of loses it’s meaning because that phrase isn’t always a reality when it comes to ACTING on it. So, I would like to make it perfectly clear to EVERYONE that when I say “I’m here for you. If you need me, let me know!” I ABSOLUTELY mean it!! I don’t throw that out there for the heck of it. It’s not just empty words from me! Though, it’s not to say that I’m superwoman or the greatest person in the world. I do the best I can however I can, but like I tell everyone, I am human and I have my failures. So, don’t expect miracles/perfection out of me (or for me to be a complete doormat either!). Even with my flaws, though, I’m HERE and I do mean what I say. Plenty of you out there can vouch for the fact that I back it up - and I appreciate those of you that return the favor and back up your own words as well!

So, with that in mind, don‘t be afraid to call on me if you need a friend. I want to be as helpful and effective as possible, so feel free to tell me what you need (or don’t need lol) from me. I know that at the very least, I can keep working on trying to keep my blogs shorter (when possible! LOL), talk a little less, and work on my conciseness (I am such a work in progress!! LOL). And, I know that I will continue to use my gifts to blog, volunteer, listen, e-mail/call/IM friends who need someone to talk to, provide encouragement/counsel/aid, etc. I’ll keep trying to be the kind of friend that one can depend on for love, compassion, and support (just like I receive from many of you).

I guess all that’s left to say is “who’s with me?” Chad is saying the same thing. Are we all in this together? I know some of you already are!! There are a faithful few of you who I can consistently count on; the ones who always put their whole hearts into people (and you know who you are!!!). These are the people that back up their words with actions. They devote time, money, resources, and love to helping the broken and getting them through whatever they are struggling with. They know as well as I do that we need to give and do as much as we can. Alone we are one, but together we are many! The WHOLE body of Christ needs to network together in order to have maximum impact!! So, THANK YOU to my true family and friends who ALWAYS have my back; and the backs of others!! THANK YOU for always saying “yes” when I ask you to help me aid a friend (or even help me personally in any number of ways), give back to the community, etc. You are more than just the “mouth” of Jesus; you are His hands and feet. You’re going, doing, and caring!! I feel the urge to name some of you one by one, but I know you all are humble servants and I don’t want to embarrass you (or cause the less than humble people to give me grief if I didn‘t mention their name lol). You know who you are, and you have my infinite love and gratitude for all you do!

Grace and peace to all of you!! God bless you and may you be a blessing to others!

2 comments:

Helen said...

Melissa, you made a comment about Dr. Seuss on R.T.'s site. Did Seuss really say we couldn't use it? Because frankly, I taught children for many years, and I used that particular book during pro life week, and segwayed into a discussion about small personhood in fetal form.
I am not pulling your leg. I am serious. If I knew he had objected, I probably would have still read the book to my students, then had the other discussion separately. So I guess I wouldn't have done anything differently, but I find it disappointing. I had always assumed that Seuss meant the book to be symbolically pro life, so I am a bit disturbed.
About your post...you make a very good point. Words need to be backed up. I am a stay at home daughter, (my mom is bedridden, and I don't leave her alone except maybe a quick trip to the pharmacy or grocery store), yet I am sure there is something I can actually do if I put my heart and mind to figuring it out. I don't quite know what that is right now, but I do I agree with you that my words need to be backed up with action.
Good post.

Melissa said...

Helen,

Yes, it's unfortunate and sad that Dr. Seuss, and his wife, both openly objected to that little phrase being used to support life. If you would like to see a source to support that, here is a link: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?pageId=59302

The first time I ever heard of Horton was when the little cartoon came as a bonus on the animated Grinch DVD I bought. When I watched it, I saw the pro-life theme right away and showed it to my Bible Study group because it moved me so much! I also use that cartoon, the book, and the recent movie that they made to cement the concept of personhood in my kids as well. It warms my heart when I hear them say that phrase!

Regardless of Dr. Seuss and his sometimes evolutionary and humanist views, I will continue to pull out the good from stories like that. :)

Thanks for your comment. I'm sorry to hear about your mother and I applaud you for being dedicated to her service. Your words ARE backed up with action, and loving and serving your mother is proof of that!!

This post wasn't solely about pro-life activism. It was merely used as an example. The broader picture is the fact that faith without deeds is dead (James 2:26) and so many Christians just claim to "believe" but don't produce any fruit from their faith. The church I grew up in was a lot like that. We didn't really do anything to reach out to people. We came to church on Sundays, had our own little get-togethers, and it was all about "us" and coming to "worship" but really was nothing more than robotic rituals, traditions, and going through the motions. Not to say that they NEVER did anything to help anyone, but for the most part, I don't remember the church doing anything (aside from sending money to help missionaries and other ministries). Money is only ONE way we help others. But moreover, people don't just remember the "money" we spent on them, but the TIME we spend on them. We need to be personally involved.