Thursday, May 24, 2012

Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly

I'm a pretty selective blog reader. I've only got so much time in my day and I stick to my top ten favorite blog reads for daily reading. I'll blog hop when I've got some extra time or when someone sends me a link to a blog I've "just got to read".... that's how I found Kristen's blog We are THAT Family. Thru a link a friend shared on Facebook. And through Kirsten's blog I learned of Mercy House.

I read about Mercy House and thought, "What a great idea. What a great organization. What a great way to minister and meet needs." And I went about my day. But Mercy House kept tugging at me. I thought about it often. Found myself checking Kristen's blog and the Mercy House website for updates. Began thinking beyond me and mine. I began to think maybe this was something we should be a part of.... Mr. Steady and I tithe. We give offerings (offering being that first cent after ten percent tithe) to our local church which helps pay district budgets which in turn helps pay regional and international budgets. We give to our denomination's missions projects. We give here and there to local organizations. I donate at least 10 car loads of stuff to Goodwill every year. We participate in 30 Hour Famine. Our kiddos purchase Christmas gifts for each other from the Samaritan's Purse Catalog. That is all to say that we give but we can do more.
We give but we don't always sacrifice.
Sacrifice is letting go of something you love for something you love more.
Over the last ten or so months, God has been growing, stretching, and teaching Mr. Steady and I about sacrifice and we have been blessed more than I can share with you because of it. And it all started with Mercy House.
It pulled at me.
One day, I was once again hopping from Kristen's blog to Mercy House and hit on this page on their website.
These words grabbed my heart and wouldn't let go:

Three dollars.
On the Third of each month.
To remember the Three girls raped every 45 minutes.
..... The Power of Three.

$3.00. $3.00 a month. That's 10 cents a day.

And these words at the top of the page:
"Three dollars. It isn't much in today's world. You can buy a couple of candy bars or a large drink. Three dollars just doesn't go very far. Unless you add your $3 to my $3 and I add mine to her $3 and she adds hers to theirs... before you know it, $3 becomes a lot."

"$3.00 becomes a lot." It spoke right to my heart and sat there and stewed there. I revisited the family budget. Long time readers here know that Mr. Steady and I are working our way out of debt after a horrible personal debt crisis and we account for every single penny in our budget. Somehow I had to tweak and find at least 300 pennies. I just had to.

What will my $3 do?
My three buckaroos will help support young women in Kenya who are pregnant and exploited. My thirty dimes will help run Rehema House (that's Swahili for mercy)- a maternity home that provided protection and care for physical and emotional well-being. A home that provides schooling and teaches sustainable skills. A program that provides prenatal care and runs for two to four years and beyond... Here's another quote from Mercy House, "Our residents are invited to stay in the program for a minimum of two to four years, but our desire is to support each mom and baby throughout their lives. Each girl earns money through our Sustainable Skills Program and it will be dispersed over a long-term period to continue their education and even start a business as a part of our Graduate Program. Since our residents are at-risk- abused and even orphaned, we will assist them for as long as needed. We want to be their forever family and will tailor our help to each girl's situation. Our goal is quality, not quantity and total discipleship."
This gets me to thinking... when these girls graduate the program and go with their child out into their world with preparation and skills and the love of Jesus... who will they then affect? My sixty nickels a month is just a pebble dropped in an ocean but it creates a ripple and another and another- $3 makes an impact regardless of size. And I wonder-- How far will the ripples of Mercy House reach?

And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8 NIV

And here's The Message version:
But He's already made it plain how to live, what to do,
what God is looking for in men and women.
It's quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,
be compassionate and loyal in your love,
And don't take yourself too seriously--
take God seriously.

Micah 6:8 is THE VERSE and VISION of Mercy House.
Since reading about Mercy House this verse has lived vibrantly in my heart and mind.
And this right here? This song- Courageous by Casting Crowns:

Towards the end of the song- the background vocals sing this....

seek justice, love mercy, walk humbly with your God
seek justice, love mercy, walk humbly with your God

And I hum it and sing it and want so desperately to live it.

I cannot turn a blind eye to things I can do something about just because it doesn't happen at my front or back door. Just because its not in my line of vision. Just because it's a continent or two away. $3.00. Ten cents a day. Between the car ashtray and the couch cushions- we could do this.
We did this.

My $3 and your $3 and her $3 and his $3.... and before you know it $3.00 becomes a lot.

Go and Give. Please.


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