“He will call us to pour our lives into the cracks around us, and sometimes into the cracks far from our doorsteps. But wherever he calls us, we pour, not wishing for a larger crack or a more noticeable one, or even the one we were expecting.” – Jeannie Allen, Anything
I’ll never forget the first time I looked into the eyes of women living on the margins. I was on my knees in a tiny school room in the middle of Africa, washing their feet. Though we spoke different languages, we communicated through our eyes.
A year later, I was back in that same community in Uganda. This time, I bent over to look into the eyes of these same women. Our team brought ribbons to braid and tie around their foreheads. This small act symbolized the crowns of beauty our Heavenly Father gives for the ashes of our heartaches, our losses, the broken pieces of our lives.
No words were necessary. Eye to eye was all that we needed to speak love.
To speak love through our eyes.
Last month, my friend Susanne and I had the incredible opportunity to lead a group at a local women’s shelter through an 8-week conversation about faith. Meeting women marginalized in my very own city just further solidified my desire to serve women both locally and abroad. Though we spoke the same language, my favorite part was just seeing them, really seeing them, not for what they had been through but for how much the God of the Universe cares for them.
I’m one month away from embarking on a trip to a place I never imagined myself going. I’m heading to Israel with a team from our church to serve women pushed to the margins of society, many who are treated like property.
We’ll be in the very land where Jesus walked. Of all the stories in the Bible that inspire me, none bring to me to tears like the ones about Jesus and the women He loved and healed, the women He made a point to see with His eyes.
I don’t write all this to make much of me. I write all this as a thank you to the One who continues to answer the earnest prayer of a grief-stricken widow in more ways that I can ask or imagine. That prayer came 5 years ago this month; it came through darkness and utter pain so deep that I never thought I’d survive it.
Just 5 months after my entire life and heart shattered, I asked my Great God to give me a glimpse of something, anything to look forward to in my life. I asked Him give me a purpose in my pain.
And He has answered…and He continues to answer, over and over again.
I want to speak love through my eyes to women on the margins, anywhere, everywhere. I want to pour my life out as a fragrant offering to the One who gives me life, the One who loved me first.
I realize this isn’t the life that anyone would sign up for; it’s not the American dream by any means. But it’s my dream, my unique, God-given dream. It’s my “anything” as Jeannie Allen talks about in her book quoted above. My heart’s desire is to get to the end of my days on this earth and know that I have not wasted the opportunities given to me.
Dearly loved, for women,