International Ministries


September 22, 2009 Journal
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Being a single mom is hard.  Especially if you have three active boys.  I had to give Caroline credit—points for sheer guts—for having the courage to sit on the front pew . . . right beneath the pulpit.  The text for the sermon was Micah 6:8b.  “What does the Lord require of you?  To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”  In Sunday School, when the theme was explained to the kids, they had all received a classic rainbow peace charm strung on a cord that could be worn as a necklace.  (The prophet Micah was considered the first original hippie so we had a 60s theme going!)  Mid-sermon, Caroline’s son Daniel wound the cord of his necklace around one finger, and then began twirling it in ever-widening circles until it was making a spectacular arc.  Then, he’d spin it back onto his finger until he could clasp the peace charm in his hand again.  Sitting two pews behind him, and unable to see Pastor Debbie’s face while she was preaching, I must admit that I became not only distracted but also fascinated by Daniel’s peace twirling.  Spinning out.  Spinning in.  Amazingly, the charm never clanked into the pulpit, which I’m sure relieved his mother.

What happens when we begin to practice peace with those around us?  When we start twirling?  The impact of our actions makes an ever-widening circle.  Until the circle is so big that the peace is twirling wildly in a kaleidoscope of color.  It is the cord of God’s love that keeps us anchored so that we don’t spin out of control. And, when we need rest and a change of pace, God twirls us back into his palm.  After a time of respite and renewal, God twirls us out again.  Slowly at first, then faster and faster.  Spirals of light and love.

Pastor Debbie challenged us to consider how we might implement justice, mercy and humility in our lives this fall.  (See, I didn’t miss the entire sermon!)  Peace twirlers.  After the service, Caroline told me she had cautioned Daniel to be a reverent twirler.  Not to stop twirling, but to do it reverently.  Maybe that’s why most of us don’t twirl peace very frequently.  Someone told us to stop doing it . . . instead of giving us gentle parameters of how to do it.  We’re being invited this fall to spin out from ourselves.  To experience our walk with God in an active, more vibrant way.  To experiment with twirling again.

So, how, where, when, why, and with whom is God beginning to twirl you?  

Peace twirlers.  Did you know that every time you invest in a missionary’s life . . . through prayer, through an email, through a birthday card, through a financial gift . . . that you are participating as a peace twirler?  Because when you invest in our lives, you also invest in the lives of all the people we touch in the countries where we serve.  The circle of community . . . spinning out, spinning in, cross-culturally.  Peace twirlers.

Amazing what one creative, imaginative child can teach you during church!

(Joyce and her family are attending First Baptist Church of Littleton, MA, while they are on their year of U.S. assignment.  A change of pace from their life and ministry as missionaries in La Paz, Mexico.)

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