A Song in My Heart…

In my head I’ve been making up a song to the familiar tune of “Going to the Chapel and We’re Gonna Get Married”

Since I like to make-up strange words and phrases, it should seem fitting that I would take a stab at song writing : ). This is the song I’ve been singing as of late:

Going to Uganda and I’m gonna love on precious children

Going to Uganda and I’m gonna love me some or-or-or-phans

Gee, I really love them and I’m

So thankful to be goin’ 

Going to Uganda with 2 ama-zing wo-men

Going to Uganda with LOVE – yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Going to Uganda to LOVE!

Ok, so I’m not the most clever song-writer. But my heart is so full as I think about this trip the Lord has opened and I cannot help but sing silly songs like this! I’m also so amazed at how He has brought two other women (one of which is my closest friends) to join me on this trip.

I’m so blessed!

But I realize for some, this is kind of peculiar. I went out to a lunch meeting a couple of weeks ago with some clients that we work with. One of my co-worker’s shared with these men that I do “crazy” things and she brought up this trip to Uganda.

“Why on earth would you go to Uganda? And for how long?”, one asked.

Oh dear…I wasn’t even sure how to begin to answer the first question. So I answered the easy one first. “2 weeks” and then proceeded to share my heart with them. I wish I could say it was this glorious transaction that took place. But it was awkard and with every sentence, I saw their faces getting more distorted and the tension at the table could be cut with a knife. Somewhere in the talk, I shared about how Jesus had so captured my heart by His love and has changed my life. I shared how I knew what it was like to not have a parent around after my mom passed away and that I cannot fathom there are kids living on the streets without a mother or a father. I also shared that I know the need is immense but I cannot just walk by or pretend it doesn’t exist. If Jesus has given me this much love, I want to share it with those who do not have it.

*dead silence*  … awkward! My face turned blood red…

Then one of the guys spoke up, “So wait, you’re using your vacation time to do this?! Do you really think you can make a difference in that time?”

“I’m not going there as a heroine and I’m not going naively. I’m called to love as I have received love and even if it’s just one child, two weeks would not be wasted.” 

I was not a wasted pursuit. No one is.

And that’s the truth. I have seen what God’s love can do in a person’s life. When the Love of Jesus penetrates a heart, they change. I know it because I have changed. My family has changed. I’m surrounded by people who have been changed by the Lover that pursued them – even when they could care less about the Pursuer. With what I’ve received, how could I withhold?  Not here in Chicago, nor when an opportunity comes up with a trip like this. [And I’m definitely not trying to make it sound like I love others well or easily. I think this can only be grown and cultivated to the degree by which we receive God’s perfect love. But that’s another blog post!]

I don’t consider it a sacrifice to take “vacation” time and hold precious children who have not been held by their mama’s, to love them, esteem them, sing with them, clean them and get very dirty if it means they may feel and know an everlasting Love ; I consider it one of the greatest gifts the Lord could give me. 

Jesus said to his disciples, “I will not leave you as orphans but I will come to you.” – John 14:18  He said this to his disciples! The truth is, we were all orphaned, without a Father or a home. When we believed in Jesus, we became a part of a larger Family – one that will never end. But before that – we were abandoned, starved and homeless. We don’t think in those terms, especially if we came from good homes with great parents and the average 4.5 kids. But that’s what true. Then Jesus opened our eyes to the great love of the Father. He rescued us and redeemed us. I love how John writes this verse, after he understood more fully what Jesus said to him earlier:

“How great is the love of the Father that He has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! For that is what we are!” – 1John 3:1

It’s like I can see John exclaiming this with all his heart because he understood the depth of the love that chose him, rescued him and now in turn, he has the privilege of doing the same.

David Platt said it best and I totally want to make a t-shirt that says this:

We care for orphans not because we’re rescuers. We care for orphans because we are the RESCUED.

Palabra David.

 So my heart is so full. God has blessed me with a tremendous family in Georgia that I love dearly. He’s given me a wonderful family here in Chicago as well. But even more, I know Him and His love for me. This is what makes me sing silly songs, to do things that in the natural, I would not nor could not do. I love because I was loved first.

May this world become less about us and more about Jesus. It may be a peculiar thing, but not a sacrifice. Rather a joy and privilege.

So, I will continue to sing silly songs of Uganda! And I’ll sing a song of His great love that extended to my orphaned heart, to rescue, redeem and restore so that other precious souls can sing and laugh too~

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2 thoughts on “A Song in My Heart…

  1. Amen and Amen. I love you sister. Amen. Thank you, Jesus, for awkward lunch conversations, and a bold sister to share who you are!

  2. So proud of you again dear Shelly — those men at the table that heard your story will never forget that and one day they may be in a nursing home or dying and finally trust Jesus because of the seed you sowed so long ago. The majority of the people in a nursing home want to trust Christ — many because of seeds like this sown years ago in their lives. Love you! Mama B

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