As a teenager and a young adult, I read a lot of Christian biographies that set my heart on fire. Hudson Taylor, Henry Martyn, Amy Carmichael, Jim Elliot, Isobel Kuhn, William Borden… My role models all sacrificed normalcy – in relationships, in health, in finances – and many even gave up their lives, for the sake of the gospel. None lived the average life. I wanted that – to live a life above the ordinary; to make a difference. With those biographies as my only reference, I thought the one way to achieve this was through denial of a normal lifestyle, great sacrifices and extraordinary acts of service. What I have been learning since then is that God does his greatest work in ordinary settings, through normal lives. In the everyday, in small circles, in little things. That, as Sarah Bessey puts it, “all of our lives are a proclamation”:
One soul is as valuable as thousands, millions. One soul is as important as ninety-nine, worth leaving behind everything to rescue. If there is one soul in your care, one face in your loving gaze, one hand you are holding, then you are still holding the world. The work you do today, the love you give and receive and lavish on the seemingly small people and tasks – all of these “little” things are tipping the scales of justice and mercy in our world. Everything we do from the mundane to the glamorous to the difficult and all points between can testify.
I believe all of our lives are a proclamation.Sarah Bessey, Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith