My Bride, Carrie, told me of a place in Nepal called The House of the Dying. It is a place where predominately widows are abandoned by their families to die. There are countless conversations that could be had around why this practice is permitted and what these women’s lives are like once abandoned, the religious and pragmatic arguments for why people believe this is permissible, and so on, but I want to simply camp out on my wife’s loving conduct while there and her heart’s response. Carrie has always amazed me with her ability to really get knee and elbow deep into caring for people with real and lasting needs. She used to go on missions trips often before I met her and she worked in an assisted living home for the elderly. She knows what it looks like to see people who have been abandoned and neglected like few that I know can understand, and now with this trip to Nepal and seeing these women neglected, I can tell her missionary heart has been revived, especially for those with serious needs.
These women are left to die, as are so many around the world, put out for exposure and ignored, in hopes that they will just die and disappear so we don’t have to “deal” with them. Don’t we do this with each other and with those we see in pain or sorrow around us? We hear of people living in desperate places and situations, and we turn our ears and eyes, hoping the problem will right itself. What a sorrow and complete refusal to consider what Christ has called us to in loving “the least of these”.
We have an amazing opportunity, friends, to listen to the Spirit’s leading and devote our lives to serving those with serious needs. Many of us can make a bigger difference by being lay ministers of grace, keeping active in our professions and sending support to indigenous ministers of grace right where we hear about needs like these. That said, we will never be as stirred and awakened as when we go ourselves to discover how desperate these with needs really are. My wife’s trip to Nepal wasn’t easy for us as a couple, and my mother-in-law and I held down the fort with my son Jackson, keeping things rolling back here on the home front. Carrie and I hope to take these trips together as a family in the future, one trip a year is the goal. My hope is to come away with stories to inspire us to support indigenous missionaries in these towns where suffering is so severe. As believers, we should be seeking to discover dire needs like these and being the first to show grace and have it be reckless! We should show our complete surrender to the Redeemer in how we display grace to those with severe needs. Our hope is that you will consider a trip every five years or so to a place where you believe God is calling you to connect and serve. Then, you’ll know the needs of that region and be able to support those serving there, knowing you can trust that your funds are being used well for God’s glory and the good of those you’re supporting.
More locally, we should be considering where the needs are most severe, and we should be serving there more quickly than in other capacities. We should almost be wrestling for the opportunities to serve those with the most severe needs, but at the same time, we should prayerfully be honest and wise to consider before the LORD our capacity and place with those we share life, our bandwidth so-to-speak. We should consider if there are needs that aren’t as severe that we’re well equipped to meet, and we should meet those needs with those with whom we share life. God has given us each roles and opportunities in our communities, right where we live, to serve and meet needs together. When we team up and consider how to stir up one another to love and to good works for the glory of our Great God, our JOY EXPLODES! If we’re in serving opportunities for our own glory, we will shrink and get discouraged, but if we’re consistently seeking to honor the LORD above all and build each other up in the hope of the Redeemer, our joy will increase, and we’ll have the energy necessary for what each of us are called to do in the power and pleasure of God’s Holy Spirit.
Enjoy some time in God’s Word today, friends! It’s always worth it.
Love you much,