Posted by t
the session was over. everyone was moving toward the coffee machine or the bathrooms for the short break when she spoke up.
“can i just add one thing?” of course we all stopped and turned toward the voice.
“we’ve been talking about how to counsel women who have experienced traumatic things in life, and even how to prevent feeling traumatized ourselves through hearing the horribly disturbing stories, but i feel like i should mention another way being involved in this kind of work might threaten your emotional well-being.”
the group of women—leaders of amazing advocacy organizations—were all listening intently as she continued.
“a psychologist once told me that real emotional trauma can be caused by any experience outside of your own norm. i used to beat myself up for continuing to feel distraught over my divorce while i was face-to-face with real agony every day in the lives of these trafficked women. i felt so self-centered for feeling sad about my own circumstances when my troubles looked like nothing compared to what they go through.”
i lost it. it was like God was speaking straight to me. how many times have i scolded myself for my sorrow, frustration, or anger over losing my mom, when right in front of me so many are suffering from injustices far more overwhelming than my hurts? i tried to hide my tears as she offered a last word of encouragement.
“i just want you all to take to heart the truth that your hurts are not insignificant or unjustified. what you experience is real, and God cares about your trauma just as much as the woman who has lost her entire family while fleeing her country, or the girl who has been physically and emotionally tortured her entire life.”
those words, which almost didn’t get shared, impacted me just as much as anything said during the sessions over those three days. i know many of my friends care deeply about social justice and often find themselves facing heartache in the circumstances of the orphans, the poor, and the ignored and mistreated. please remember that your personal hurts are not to be disregarded or belittled. i know i needed the reminder.
Posted by t
i absolutely tore through this book last week. and then i read it again to absorb every detail.
Zealous Love is a response to some of the world’s urgent needs in light of Christ’s great love. Through first-hand accounts and up-to-date facts about eight global issues, Zealous Love uniquely provides readers with the information, inspiration, and involvement they crave to personally make a difference in their world.
the book hit the stores earlier this month, and i’d been anticipating it’s release because i know that the executive editors, mike and danae yankoski, always deliver thorough, sincere, relevant work. i pre-ordered it on amazon so that it would be on my doorstep the instant it was published. the title caught my attention because several of the eight concerns that the book addresses are target initiatives of the spero project. i can’t wait to see how spero can integrate the information and ideas into our programs in okc.
the really fantastic thing about this book is that it takes the message beyond education. these pages are truly for anybody who cares about helping others. the real, do-able ideas inside are not the kind of things you’d be inclined to brush off as an assignment for those in full-time ministry. the colorful, inspiring, organized sections guide the reader in how to turn passion into action, both locally and globally. the staggering needs of the world are suddenly less overwhelming when you have direction and focus for your energy.
i was especially impressed with the interactive website for ZealousLove.org. in addition to descriptions of each of the areas of injustice they hope to bring attention to, there is a forum for discussion about each of the topics. organizations and individuals can share motivation, resources, and practical ideas about taking on some of the world’s most pressing challenges: hunger, unclean water, HIV/AIDS, creation degradation, lack of education, economic inequality, refugees, and human trafficking.
Zealous Love offers hope throughout every chapter. hope for the world, hope for the reader. it’s not about being a “Super Christian,” it’s about seeing a need and deciding to do something about it. it’s about making your faith more than just good intentions.