Jun 26, 2006

A different perspective

Usually my blog is pretty egocentric. I generlly post photos of our family and talk about things that are going on with me, Chad and Ava. I love this form of communication and being able to share with friends and family via the web. I still plan on posting photos of Ava and letting you in on our daily happenings. Today's post will be a little different though.

Lately, I've been thinking and praying alot about my role in the bigger picture. I think that it's so easy in America to allow things to become routine, comfortable, sheltered even. For some reason, Chad and I have both had a heart for Africa in recent months, but not just Africa-- Iraq, Isreal, nations living through war. I don't have any answers for war, but I think that being sheltered from it is not what we are called to do. I enjoy listening to Christian radio, but the "safe and fun" mantra seems to spill over into our Christian living. I don't think that Jesus called us to live "safe and fun" lives. He called us into the world. He called us to be salt and light. Jesus lived a dangerous and uncomfortable life. When I ask myself honestly, "What would Jesus do?" I am frightened by the answer because I'm not sure that my life is truly a reflection of his. I love him, that is certain. I attend church, bible studies, I serve in ministry. I love others in His name, but is that enough? I am still very comfortble. When I see children living in poverty in need of things I take for granted, I am haunted by the fact that this would not happen in America. And yet these children are loved by their parents and God just as much as I love Ava.

Africa:
A couple of months ago, Chad and I participated in a "Global Night Commute" to help raise awareness for the "invisible children" living in the Sudan. These children are being captured by the LRA (Lord's Resistance Army) and forced to kill. We first saw a documentary about this in Fort Worth. It brought us both to tears, but we didn't know what to do. Right after we moved to Abilene, we attended a forum at Highland and met some young people who were on a national tour to raise awareness for the invisible children. Since then, we receive e-mail updates, and have been in prayer for these kids. The Global Night Commute consisted of people all over the U.S. who walked from their homes (or in our case, ACU) to a downtown area and literally spent the night in parking lots to raise awareness and publicity. Click here for a video clip about the Global Night Commute . I also have a link on my blog to the main invisible children website.

Israel:
If you know my family even a little bit, you probably know that my father marches to the beat of a different drummer. Right now he is in Israel on an archeological dig for a month. He found a group online and joined their team. They have been excavating an area in Maggedo; he is living in a Jewish Kabbutz (communal living area), and eating Kosher. I have always admired his spirit of adventure. He deliberately seeks out experiences that are not comfortable and familiar. For more on his travels, check out his blog at jkpierson.blogspot.com His experiences in Israel have gotten me paying more attention to international affairs in Israel and Palestine as well.

This is alot of type for a blog so I'll sum up. I want to be more consiously aware of global issues. I don't want to live too comfortably. I want to be intentional about the way I treat others, even others I don't know across the world. I appreciate and admire families like the Vaughns, who don't just talk about this, but act on it, and go to Africa to live like Jesus. Great is their reward. I am inspired by that kind of courage and I pray that God will help me to be more courageous and less comfortable in my faith.

7 comments:

Chad said...

Summer this is one of the many reasons that I love you so much! You have consistently encouraged me to grow and stretch. You encourage me to journey out to the edge of my faith & take a look - not just sit in the middle like I want to do.
-----
According to the Abilene Reporter News from last Monday, nearly 20,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed in since the beginning of the war. I don't claim to know what the answer is, but my heart tells me this isn't it.

Kara Sheets said...

great words summer. hopefully a journey to africa will be in your future!

Holly O'Quinn said...

Hey Summer,
I love your thoughts on this post, and it's great to witness your openness for God's children all over this world. So many are giving and risking their lives each and every day and I struggle with my comfortable lifestyle here in the states. I watched The End of The Spear on Sunday for the first time. I don't know if you are familiar with the book or the movie, but it's really amazing. The message of selflessness is summed up at the end, but I don't want to ruin it for those who have not read or seen it.

It's evident that God is stirring things within you and Chad. I have no doubt that you are both on the brink of something really courageous for these longings on your hearts. My God bless you because of it.

Blessings,
Holly Billingsley O'Quinn

Julia said...

I'm always thankful for your sensitive heart & openness to see what God is doing outside of your own world. I'll never forget Jan...another story altogether, but one that reminds me of how you've always been willing to look outside yourself. I'm thankful for a friend that calls me to examine myself as well! I love you friend!

Randy & Kelly Vaughn said...

Summer I was so blessed by reading your thoughts and then very surprised to read our name towards the end of your thoughts. The Lord is stirring your heart for something...I thank God for your seeking heart and willing spirit...both of these command the Lord's attention. When his eyes roam the earth, he is looking for those hearts that are committed to him so that he can strengthen them and USE them! Be ready!
You and Chad are always welcome here if you want to get a taste of Africa!
Love and Blessings,
Kelly

Brooks Inc. said...

Summer-

I love reading your thoguhts. this is actually the 4th or 5th time I have come back adn read over this...May HE who began a good work in your be faithful to complete it...It is beautiful o watch Him unfold your life...

So thankful to be your friend!

Becky

msajeffrey said...

Summer...I guess I must join the other Jeffrey women (Jeffrey-Vaughn&Jeffrey-Brooks!!)in commenting on your post!!! You certainly got my heart pounding! ( I read your post on Kelly's blog!)

I could stand a chair and cheer for you for even entertaining the thought of seeking out being uncomforatable for the Lord. I don't think we have much of a handle on suffering for Christ or suffering like Christ...we want to be like Him in all the safe attractive ways...I don't need to speak for anyone else...I shoud have said I don't have the handle suffering.

I encourage you and Chad to be adventureous
for and with the Lord. Get excited about living on the edge with Him!

I love and admire greatly the stirring quality you and Chad have along with the ability to communicat the stirring to others.

We sure miss you all around here but we know you are walking in blessing right where you are!