For the past 7 weeks Marla has been hosting the read-a-long of David Platt's book Radical. I was excited to join along. I've already read the book in its entirety, thanks to my pastor mentioning it in a sermon several months ago. Its definitely the kind of book you have to read slowly, chapter by chapter, to take in the full intent.
Unfortunately, I haven't been able to actually participate in the weekly discussions. I could give you a list of excuses, but it comes down to the fact that everyone has time for what they want to have time for. Its just a matter of priorities and what you value most.
Sad that something this life changing wasn't high on my list.
After my first reading of the book I was prompted to want to do more. Jay and I have been very blessed. All of this saving and frugal living isn't just so one day we can be millionaires. While that day will be nice, that status is partly desired for the impact we could have in others' lives.
My immediate reaction to the book was to play the "spiritual mismatch" card. Not a believer himself, Jay would never agree to giving until it hurts when it comes to Christian organizations.
I immediately caught myself. How would I know without asking? What if I was using his unbelief as a crutch for myself, keeping me safely in my comfort zone? I prayed that God would show me my out.
As always, He stepped up to the plate. That week I felt prompted to "pay it forward" and pay for the person in line behind me at the drive-thru. Of course I couldn't think of a phrase that didn't sound fake or preachy, so when the cashier asked me why he should tell them I did it I said "just because".
This chapter addresses one of Jay's big hangups with the gospel.
The same week I read this, a missionary spoke at church. He and his family commit to a single people group, travel there, and immerse themselves in the culture. Its only then can they begin to build a Bible translation in their native tongue. Their newest location doesn't even have a written alphabet. No wonder it takes 15 years to provide a translation!
I brought a brochure home to Jay and asked him how he felt about donating. I was shocked when he said he'd like to, especially since it addresses his "but what about the people who don't know" question. When he asked me how much I wanted to give, I told him I wasn't sure.
He then proceeded to mention an amount over twice what I was thinking. Without a moment to waver, I said "yes" to that amount and wrote out the check.
I was humbled a few weeks later to receive a thank you card from the couple. Her wording (well I assume it was her - do men ever write those?) floored me. "sacrificial gift"
Only it wasn't. That gift, although substantial, wasn't sacrificial for us at all. Have you heard the song with the line "Put a twenty in the plate but I never give till it hurts?" While this was more than $20, it certainly didn't hurt us to give.
As I drove home this weekend, from friends who are unbelievers, I cried. Because I truly don't know how to be a light for Jesus. My life is different because of Him, but I don't know that any non-Christian types could see that. My friends certainly don't.
While I truly believe those without Christ won't be with me in heaven, I find myself praying for their salvation far too little.
I'm not down on my knees every night praying for my husband. Begging God to do something - anything - to change his mind.
I'm not being the "deeds not words" kind of wife I should be.
I don't live - and give - like I believe it.
Lord forgive me.