empathy, sympathy, compassion
a passion for helping
and then...
empathy and sympathy and compassion

It's a dichotomy, isn't it? Being human. We care deeply for a while about a hundred different things and sooner or later there's too much or too little and we just grow

We stop leaning into the discomfort of trying and trying to help and to tell the stories of the hurting
and the poor
and we see the eyes of the orphan as we surf the web
and we turn our own eyes away to something lighter
and it is not fair to guilt us that way.

There's just too much.

But we can't stop talking about it
and we can't close ourselves off from it
because if we do, we're doing nothing
and even if we don't know that we still care
even while doing nothing
it hurts us to do nothing
and it hurts them to do nothing...
everyone loses.


I don't know how it happened, but some years back I became quite passionate about the human trafficking crisis, especially the sex trafficking of children, of orphans. Around that time, through the music and message of Sara Groves, I came to know International Justice Mission. Ryan and I then became Freedom Partners, financially supporting IJM's work to end slavery, trafficking and other injustices.

But that sponsorship and the support of two children through Compassion International is all our family is doing. We allow a small donation to be removed from our account one time a month and that's it...we call it good enough, and it's not.

What happens? What happens to this burning desire in me to do something? Is it apathy? Is it the business of life? Is it fear? Is it all of it?

It's all of it, for me, I think. Until I'm closed off, ears tuned out, heart turned off.

And then I'll hear a story and it will come alive because that's what story does to my heart. You know how stories wake us up...it's good. I hear a story through Compassion or IJM and I picture what happened and I think of that child
and that child feels more like mine
because that child is all of ours.

Every time the words from one of Sara Groves' songs--When the Saints are played-- "I see the young girl huddled on the brothel floor--I see the man with a passion come and kick'n down that door,"
I cry.

And I'm jealous of him, that kicking man. I want to be him. I want to rescue that girl. I want to re-open.


Guilt is not helping...it never has helped me much at all, it keeps me closed. And I don't want to guilt you. I just want us to stay open. To free us of pressure and big scary thoughts that shut us down because we fear we can't handle helping.

I can't adopt...that's for other more patient and loving people--I'm just not that good.
So and So, THEY are that good, they must be so good, to be able to do that.
Maybe some day, but right now we're not like them.

I can't foster...that's terrifying and what about my kids?
We don't have any extra money.

But maybe we need to stop scaring ourselves away with those big thoughts. Maybe our role is or starts smaller...everything starts with a small opening, after all. Maybe it's just one connection, one small idea, one small thought, one small belief, one small step.

What if I were simply open? Just open, to seeking and looking and watching and hearing. All of me open and starting to be ready for the undeniable message that I am needed and this or that way is exactly how I am needed?
No big decisions today...just a willingness, an openness, an awareness,
letting the next step
be the next small step
to open-hearted action.
After all, no child that needs us is asking us for perfection in the way we are led to help. Fear is asking for perfection, not that child. That child simply needs us, just as we are, with our buried passionate hearts and our love for them.


Have you heard of the Idea Camp? Please take a moment to click on over and check it out--I highly recommend watching the short video under "videos" on the right side of the events page. It will not only inspire you, but it will help you understand what the Idea Camp is all about. It's something different, something powerful, I just know it.

The next Idea Camp takes place in Northwest Arkansas on Feb. 25-26 and I really want to go. To imagine sitting with people who are full of passion, collaborating and living...it would be so good. If we're able to swing it, while I'm there, I want my heart to be open, to hear and give, to be inspired and to say yes.

"God has a plan to help bring justice to the world -- and his plan is us." ~ Gary Haugen (International Justice Mission)

COMMENTS ARE CLOSED. You know, so you can go meet the Idea Camp.

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