She had no idea what her words were doing to me that night. My heart was growing like the Grinch’s when he finally understood the mystery and beauty of Christmas.
Which I realize, as I tell this tale, is essentially about the same thing: Giving.
Because isn’t Christmas rooted in giving? It’s about how a great, great God extended lavish grace to an undeserving world and gave love in human form, a way back to him.
The Way back to him.
And in our car that night illuminated by freeway lights, she was the most luminous thing of all, her countenance aglow. I didn’t even have to look at her. You could feel her light. His light in her.
We had three hours on our drive home and she filled time and space with stories of her work. They poured out, water from a hydrant, quenching our desire to know more, to better understand.
She was the one on fire.
What my heart doing- growing – was greater joy, John tells me so. I believe him.
She wasn’t talking about what you should do to change the world around you, she was telling us about all she’s done. We know what she likely doesn’t: She’s changing the world. All of them are, these co-laborers for a cause. There are many on either side of her, arms linked, stepping into hard places and leaving footprints. Sometimes literally.
She’s a college graduate who accepted a two-year fellowship working with poverty elimination.
She’s a college graduate who accepted a two-year fellowship where she has to raise her own salary, which happens to be as it were, below the poverty level. I did the math and it broke my heart.
But not hers. She hasn’t even noticed. She doesn’t understand how little she makes because as she looks around, she’s just like everyone else in her world. The one she’s changing.
And of course she has parents who can stand in the gap for anything she needs, and she knows better than me, the people she serves don’t have that luxury.
So, if you’re thinking about year-end giving or inspired by this day known as Giving Tuesday, and you haven’t already promised your hard-earned dollars to your own personal cause, I’m asking you to give to Cross Purpose, and I’m bold enough to add, as much as you can.
(If you’d like to give specifically to Rachel, be sure to add “To the ministry of Rachel Dance” in the notes section, but however you choose to give WILL make a difference in the lives of those earnestly taking the steps to walk out of poverty.)
Cross Purpose is a non-profit and seeks:
“to abolish relational, economic, and spiritual poverty through the power of redemptive relationships. CrossPurpose is a nonprofit ministry dedicated to the idea of neighborhoods without poverty.”
The world my daughter is helping to change specifically focuses on nine poor neighborhoods in Denver, CO. The way Cross Purpose is going about poverty elimination is revolutionary, and other organizations around the country are studying their model to learn more. Cross Purpose esteems and empowers the people they’re hoping to help; they do not consider them human projects to pity.
Rachel has just begun the second year of her fellowship and she still needs partners interested in investing in this special ministry. If you’d like to be added to her mailing list, drop me an email (click envelope at top right of page) or add a comment to this post (she will happy dance with every new friend!!). An excerpt from a recent update–
“One of the things I love about going to a multi-ethnic church is having the opportunity to meet people from different cultures. I’ve had the opportunity to build a relationship with one family from the Congo by driving them to church and spending time with them in their home. Last week after church, we were invited to their house for lunch and and to watch African music videos; soon, I will help their daughter practice driving. They have blessed me with their kindness, and honored me by making me a beautiful African dress (pictured at left).”
Thank you for taking time to learn more about Cross Purpose. Thank you to infinity and beyond if you give financially. Whatever the amount, it will be stewarded well, and you can trust every gift matters.
One last ask: do you mind sharing this post? You can use the handy dandy share buttons below the post or copy this link:
to share on Facebook, email to all your contacts, Tweet, Pin…or however you socially share :).
Mother and child will do the happy dance together, miles apart.
Beautiful testament to the life and beauty of the gospel!! Love you all so much!
I have enjoyed your blog for the past few years. A number of your posts, I have passed on to my wife. You two would be kindred spirits if you lived in the same town. Are y’all in Macon? (I went to Mercer) We are in Columbus. I remember your post a few years ago about Rachel going overseas. That same summer, our daughter was spending 3 months in the tribal areas of Kenya. It changed her life. (and scared us to death). Anyway, I just sent a $500 contribution for Rachel’s work. Blessings. Happy New Year.