October 13, 2008

I want to be an ordinary radical mom and wife.

I am about half way through The Irresistible Revolution. It has been a wonderful journey to follow Shane Claiborne through the streets ministering to the homeless, or in truth being ministered to by the homeless, he has done a sit-in to protect some people who were living in an abandoned building, mothers and children, from being sent out on the streets, he has called up Mother Teresa and was invited to "come and see," all that was happening in Calcutta, he went and saw, and took care of the dying, loved sweet children in an orphanage and amazingly tended to the lepers in the colony. He has made relationships along the way with these groups and each has touched each others lives and shared their hearts. Did I say I am only half way through. After leaving Calcutta he went back to the states and accepted an intern position at Willow Creek, talk about culture shock, Calcutta to Mega Church, performed by lip sinking in a musical put on by Rich Mullins at the university where he was finishing his degree. This boy has done some living.

My previous post I made a statement about how one lives a life called by Christ, devoted to Christ, what does that look like? If I was a young twenty something, with no family, to me that might be heading to the streets, to the poor and oppressed where my hearts seems to be pulling me to. But I am not a 20 something I am a 40 something, wife and mom to 3 beautiful children. I truly believe that my greatest calling is to love my husband and support him, and love my kids and raise them up to live lives that are dedicated to Christ. But my conflict is that I don't think that the life I am living right now invites my kids to really experience the Gospel. What I am teaching my kids is to live with morals and to love Christ but there is no rubber meets the road. Where do we experience servanthood together? I am teaching them to live lives in a bubble, separated from those that God calls us to serve. One of the statements in the book speaks to the fact that the rich don't know the poor and if they did that poverty might be lessened substantially because we would see people in need and help them by giving them fish to feed their bellies and teaching them how to fish. I am not rich by American standards but I am certainly rich by the standards of the majority of the people who walk the earth. By no means am I referring to government reform here, I am talking about allowing Holy Spirit to reform me, a movement that starts within my heart.

So my question to myself is what does it look like to be an ordinary radical as a mom and wife? I would love if you would give me some suggestions from your life, dreams that you have, or examples from the bible of women who lived extraordinary lives. I think that is where my study will take me, to look and see about the Tabitha's and Dorcas's, to look at, and then live it out.


Barbara said...

In our small town there are things that you can do with your children or as example to your children. Your children do not need you to help the children of Calcutta or on the Mexican border.....they need to see you as an example of the daughter of the King. THere are Nursing Homes that need you and your children to visit and read to elders that cannot read for themselves. YOu can adopt the little lady that needs socks and someone to polish her nails and make her feel special....not forgotten. We have a food pantry that needs individuals to stock the shelves or to help organize a food drive thru your church, our Youth love to have contests on gathering canned goods. Your children will learn best by the example that you set for them and the love that you show to others. My son and daughter-in-law live in Abilene and I know that there are many needs in your own backyard....
the Lord will direct you as to the needs you are to see and act upon.
In Him, B.

Tammy M. said...

Thanks B. I know you are right, I am looking for where God wants us in serving, there are so many options in our town.

Vanessa said...

Yay! I'm so glad you are enjoying that book. His next one is pretty great, too.

One way that Irresistible Revolution challenged me was the idea of communal living. If multiple families live around each other, in fairly close proximity, just imagine the kind of community that would take place. They would be taking care of one another in hard times; it really is a wonderful solution to our American individualism and what is happening in our economy/society today. It also challenged me on what living as Jesus truly means, which rocked my comfortable little world!

When I read IR I wanted to travel the world and do God's work everywhere I could, but I realized also that the point is my life needs to consist of not just "doing" God's work, but "being" God's daughter. Living my life as an ordinary radical in the place He has situated me at THIS time.

I'm so glad you are thinking about these things! : )

Love ya, Vanessa