Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Unleashing Hope

     The only specific gifts I asked for this Christmas were three books by author Kim Meeder. I was so thoroughly moved by her book Fierce Beauty that I decided what I wanted most was to get the other books she's written. Interestingly enough, they're all on the subject of hope, a gift from God I have more often had when it comes to others, but not as much when it comes to me.
     I have read and very much enjoyed the first two books of the three Kevin gave me for Christmas. I've dived into the third book Blind Hope today. Hope Rising and Bridge Called Hope are both very moving, well-written collections of true stories that indeed underline the power of the human spirit to rise above suffering and reach up to God and out to others. As I've been reading these, I've been wondering and praying about what it is God would like me to focus on this year.
     I am very inspired by Kim Meeder, who has risen out of the ashes and become a beautiful example of how God's love, mercy, and joy can heal even the deepest wounds and most profound sorrow. She's not afraid to walk with others through the dark valleys whether that means standing by a person carrying a heavy cross or caring for a four-legged animal who has been used and abused. She and her husband Troy own and operate Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch in Oregon, "a nonprofit organization that rescues abused and neglected horses and pairs them with disadvantaged children, offering the children a place of safety, peace, and hope."
     Reading her books and some others which I've enjoyed and will write about in another post (or two) has gotten me wondering what God might have Kevin and I do in the way of ministry to bring others hope, peace, and a sense of God's healing love. The Lord has brought a number of people into our lives in the past several years who we can easily see the Presence of Christ working in and through, even when they struggle to see and feel His Presence themselves. More and more, it seems that part of being there for others has involved sharing with them some of our faith journeys and what God's done in our lives that at one point in time seemed highly improbable if not impossible.
     By being a loving, listening, compassionate, and prayerful presence for the people God brings into our path, we have been reminded over and over again that the Lord works in mysterious ways, He is still very much in the business of miracles, and that deeper conversion and ongoing discernment are parts of His will for each one of us.
     I'd like to ask for your prayers as Kevin and I discern how God would like us, as individuals and as a married couple, to share His love, joy, light, peace, Truth, and encouragement with others.
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