Altars of Remembrance are things, places, quotes and moments that mark our lives. In the month of December, I will be sharing four of my life’s markers. This was the topic I spoke on at a recent women’s retreat. I hope you will be encouraged and stay tuned for the remaining posts.
Rinse and Repeat is a phrase used to indicate the continual repetition of an action or sequence of events, typically in a way regarded as tiresomely predictable.
I find that if I am not intentional and tiresomely predictable I will become easily distracted and forget what I am about, what my true purpose is.
There are four Markers or Altars of Remembrance that I know God has asked me to live by. These markers are filters for how I want to see the world and those I interact with.
This post will focus on #2.* (for Part 1 of 4)
Marker #2 Help your sister
The year was 2014 and our theme for the Blossom Retreat was “Bloom Brave”. You may have noticed the beautiful violet growing out of the sidewalk in the photo above? Bravely blooming all alone!
While preparing for this event I attended a minister’s conference and had the privilege to hear Dr. George O. Wood speak. He regaled us with stories of missionaries and their contributions and sacrifices. Dr. Wood recounted the tale of Lillian Trasher who had founded an orphanage in Egypt. Lillian oversaw this orphanage for fifty years and it is estimated that over 10,000 children came and went under her care. Then Dr. Wood mentioned that Betsy Trasher, Lillian’s sister had worked beside her. Betsy had embarked on the same ship to Egypt and had been present for all fifty years. Someone once interviewed Betsy and asked her about her call to missions work. This is what she said:
“I never had a call to missions I had a call to help my sister.” ~ Betsy Trasher
That quote has forever marked my life. It grips me every time I recall it. It makes me ask myself “Who is my sister?”
So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” And [Jesus] said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” ~ Luke 10:27-29
As the Blossom team continued to prepare for our Bloom Brave event we encountered the opportunity to include a group of women from a ‘neighboring’ church who did not all speak English. At some point in the preparations, we realized as a team that we were going to be hosting a bilingual event. I remember not feeling brave enough to do this and hearing God clearly say “Help your sister”.
There are times where we can be asked to do something that is not comfortable, it lands squarely outside our skill set. In those moments I know that what I am being asked to do may not be my call, but they are my sister!
It is your circus, these are your monkeys!
When we find ourselves faced with a something we don’t know how to do or someone we don’t know how to help we can turn to one of our Blossom Ministries key verses for advice:
…Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;
say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, do not fear; your God will come,
he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution
he will come to save you.” ~ Isaiah 35:3-4
Just because you don’t know how to do something or help someone doesn’t mean you can’t pitch in and learn, or offer support.
Be brave enough to see someone unexpected as your sister. Then take her hands and steady her knees. Tell her God will come, but in the meantime, you aren’t going anywhere.
*Look for Rinse and Repeat (Part 3 of 4) on December 21, 2017.
The original article was published in the Blossom Ministries Newsletter, Issue 3 of 2017.