When we were in Uganda, my friend Sam and I had a really intriguing conversation about guilt vs. conviction. Let me tell you about Sam. She's an incredible person with a huge heart. She thinks deeply and speaks intentionally. She taught me so much in our short time together and I continue to be inspired by her faith, her life, her authenticity even from across the country. I've been really struggling with feeling guilty since coming home from Uganda. I'll check out at the grocery store and cringe at the total, even though there's not a single junk food item or impulse buy in my cart. I'll relax in the shower after a super hard day and feel guilty about how much water I'm using. I look around my apartment and feel guilty about the things we have. I've been stuck in this cycle of feeling really motivated and determined to do something for all the people I met, then feeling really powerless and guilt-ridden that I haven't picked up and moved there yet. It's partly why I've been a little quiet on the Uganda front on the blog lately. I'm just wracked by guilt and feeling so unworthy to share about the trip when I sit with a roof over my head, food in my stomach and clean water flowing from my tap. What could the privileged white girl possibly know about caring for the orphans around the world? So I reached out to Sam about the guilt vs. conviction conversation. And whoa...her words blew me away.
"God called us (all of us) to take care of the Orphan and Widow. So there must be something. SOMETHING in us that can connect to this cause. You care about purses? I think you can connect that to the orphan. I may not know how, but I think with creativity anyone can be involved.
When you connect someone with their passions for a cause then you've got movement. You've got conviction. You are glorifying God with what you have. GOD is all about that! God doesn't want you to do more! God just wants you to be faithful with the little you do have. Let's take the little boy with the little bit of bread and fish! Or how bout them disciples. When you feel guilty like you aren't good enough of a follower or that you're not doing more then think of those slackers! The disciples kinda sucked. They betrayed Jesus, didn't have much to offer, and constantly question a man who walked on water (common guys! You have proof!). But the beauty is that it's God who does the miracles. That God knew all these things about these dudes and still chose them! And He didn't ask the little boy for more fish or the disciples for more money, time, discipline. He just asked them to be faithful with what little they have. And that's where God's glory shines. If the boy had more fish then the story wouldn't be about God's miracles anymore. It's be about how awesome the boy is."
I may never understand why, but God chose me. He chose me for this mission, he chose little, naive, privileged, white me to go to Uganda and serve his people. And when I get caught up in guilt looking around my life, that's not from God. Conviction is what moves people, not guilt. I want people to care for the orphan from a place of conviction. I'm done comparing what I'm giving and doing to what others are giving and doing. Some people's call is to pack up their life and move to Uganda. They're being faithful to THEIR call. Perhaps my call is to sit in my comfortable living room and blog about Uganda. I'm being faithful to MY call. "We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us." Romans 12:6. To be honest, I'm still discerning my call. I think it's a lifelong process, really.
Bold words from my friend Sam. She's a pretty bold character. I kinda love her a lot.