Monday, September 20, 2010


I recently just finished my summer quarter at Fuller Seminary. One of the fantastic classes I was privileged to take was called Advocacy for Social Justice - gripping, saddening, moving, challenging and empowering. Since finishing all of my work for this class, I have been  quite contemplative as I am still working through my thoughts on certain current injustices that are prevalent in our world. This also includes questioning which ones I am called to advocate for. 

A quality I have possessed all my life is my empathy. Often times as a child I was told that I was "too" sensitive. Although I would agree that developing emotional maturity was important for me, I am just now beginning to understand my own sensitivity toward suffering. I cry easily and often literally feel the pain that others feel. As a child this debilitated me. My parents used to take my sister and I to volunteer at a homeless shelter a couple times a month when I was in grade school. I am thankful for the vivid and fond memories I have of this, but although I loved going, my heart broke more and more each time we went. Finally it became too much for me to bear as I would cry the entire time and we had to stop going because I did not know how to regain "composure" (whatever that is supposed to be according to American cultural standards).

As I grew up I learned how to better curb my emotion, but lately, at 24 years of age, I have again been feeling empathetically fragile. I cry more easily than ever before - not on my own behalf, but usually on behalf of others in whose lives I see tragedy. They are usually the lives of human beings experiencing insurmountable kinds of oppression and injustice For example, the millions of beautiful women and children who are sexually enslaved around the world (including right here in Orange County, CA), the victims of the Burmese war, and the captive child soldiers in Western Africa. These are just a few of the current injustices I've had the pleasure and burden of studying lately. Knowing that any sort of action begins with awareness and knowledge, I forge on, but as I do so my heart grows more and more heavy.

How did Jesus, while living on earth, deal with the burden of injustice? Did he ever feel it was too much to handle? How are we called to act using his life as our ultimate example?

I don't know entirely the answers to my own questions, but here is what I do know...Jesus did not accept the circumstances of society, he changed them. Healing a leper (which he did on multiple occasions in Scripture) was not merely an act of restorative physical healing. It was also a social healing - one that restored to a former leper human dignity and re-entrance into society! I find that pretty incredible. I know that after Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem, he wept over the city because of the lack of peace (Luke 19:40-42). I also think this is pretty incredible to read that God's own burden and longing for peace overflowed in an abundance of tears. I also know that he did not cry in vain. He did not cry and then forget his cause for peace because it was too heavy a burden. He took up his cross and was obedient...maybe this is my am I to be obedient in carrying it, Jesus?

Praying that the burden of my empathy would not debilitate me.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Walking by the Spirit

For the past week, I have fought feeling bogged down from the ever-growing list of "to-dos" for my trip! Thank the Lord that the list is diminishing and I am being further taught how to appropriately handle high stress situations - something I am not good at. The amazing thing I have learned in the past few years about this is that it actually can be learned.

Being reminded of this struggle of mine lately, I have been convicted of my own lack of understanding in how to truly live and walk in the Spirit of God. This has led me to pray differently as well as helped me to decide what Bible study I will use during my time in Nepal - Beth Moore's "Living Beyond Yourself: Exploring the Fruit of the Spirit." I actually have not done any of Beth's studies since I've been in seminary and I am excited to be encouraged by the gift of teaching God has given her through this study. I highly recommend any of her books, Bible studies or any other resource of her's out there!

I also wanted to share a Scripture passage with all of you, especially those choosing to pray for me. I have chosen to memorize Acts 17:24-31 before my trip, as well as during. This passage has always been important to me when thinking about mission because of the contextualization Paul includes - he spoke to the Greeks and shared the Gospel with them in a way that they could understand! This is something SO important when evangelizing and doing mission in order to allow the receiver to truly understand the message of Christ. I was reminded of these beautiful verses the other day and upon reading these words of Paul again, it is highly appropriate for use in a Hindu context (as well as many other contexts I'm sure). Please pray that I am diligent to completely memorize this passage and please pray that I am able to use it in some capacity during my interactions with some Nepali people.

"The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man of the earth, having determined allotted periods and boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each of us, for 'In him we live and move and have our being;' as even some of your own poets have said, 'For we are indeed his offspring.' Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead." Acts 17:24-31

The task of sharing this story with others is a gift that Christians are meant to find delight in doing, in response to the love God has given and the love we have for Him in return! In this love is also how we are called to share - although some might view the pending judgment as a lack of compassion, it is actually the complete opposite. There is grace in the opportunity to receive righteousness and the justice of God is proven in his role as judge. I encourage those who are followers of Christ to not take lightly sharing the Gospel - be respectful and sensitive. Share the story in a way that will allow your hearer to fully understand. Be aware of the opportunities to share and seek them out, especially in the context of daily life and through relationship building. Pray for the grace to share in a way that is pleasing to our Savior and pray for His moving through you.

I do believe that we need the Spirit of God in every circumstance, but I also believe that when attempting to share the Gospel we especially need His moving. "If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit." Galatians 5:25

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Let the countdown commence...30 days to go!

Exactly one month from today I will be leaving for Nepal! Wow...I truly am so excited but of course, also anxious. I still have quite a few tasks to accomplish before I am truly ready (according to my own standards as well as Fuller's!)...but the LORD is faithful and will strengthen me to be diligent in completing such tasks.

As I ponder about my fast-approaching journey, I am thinking about what kind of expectations I have for this trip. I think it can be a positive thing to have expectations, especially in the form of goals, but the pessimistic Lindsey tells me not to have any expectations so as not to be light of these reasonings, here are my expectations and my hopes -

I expect to be surprised.

I expect to be further molded and transformed into the likeness of Christ as I am faithful to seek Him.

I expect to share His story, as well as my own.

I expect to experience culture shock along the way, as well as probably reverse culture shock when coming home (which is usually harder for me).

I expect to be overwhelmed at times.

I expect to be homesick.

I expect to have to practice flexibility.

I expect to see and experience the spiritual warfare between darkness and Light.

I expect to meet people who love the One True God (these are the people I will be living and working with :)

I hope to meet and build relationships with many Nepali people.

I hope to be used by God in a might way.

I hope to find an incredible topic/issue to write about.

I hope to apply what I've learned in my degree and be diligent in my studies.

I hope to be safe, but hope to wisely put the cause of Christ ahead of this always.

I hope to see Mt. Everest.

I hope that this trip will further open my eyes and the eyes of family - expanding our understanding of the world and God's immense love for every people group and culture He created!

There are many more expectations and hopes that I have for this trip but they will be reserved for my prayer life :) Thanks to those reading this and if you feel led to pray for me, I indeed am in need of prayer for the list above.