Wednesday, January 5, 2011

To whom much is given

I’m not rich by worldly standards in America, but I am compared to the rest of the world. I am very rich.

To whom much is given, much is required.

When I was little, I remember sitting at my grandparent's feet, listening to their missionary stories from Indonesia. They told me of the witch doctor's sway over the people, of places where evil seemed to choke you it was so thick, hard work, endless toil, heart break, pain, dirt floors. They told me of this world of poverty, but it was so far away in my mind.

I grew up learning Bible verses. My mother taught us the Word in our morning "Bible time" and my father revealed God's truths and taught us how to pray during our evening "family circle time." We explored the Psalms and Proverbs by drawing them. I still have those images in my mind to this day. We did things like “running the race that was set before us” down our street. The first time we were running with weights (aka: sin) and the second time we “put away the weights that so easily ensnare us.” I have been so blessed, so blessed.

I also grew up with everything I needed. I never missed a meal unless I chose to do so. I always had a bed to sleep in, plenty of clothes, toys, a roof over my head. I went to college. I bought a car. I've always had a job. I am so richly blessed, so blessed.

What am I doing with these blessings?

Today I have been pierced to the very core. I have a few pictures of people I met on different mission trips in my office and around the house. I see them every single day. But today. Oh, today I really saw them. I remembered. Memories flooded my mind. I remembered their sweet faces, their eyes so full of hurt, their hands so filthy, and their hearts, so deeply longing for peace, for love, for the God they did not know. I saw the face of a beggar, of a poor village woman, and a shoe-less dirty school girl. As I recalled these things my heart started beating wildly.

And then it broke.

I was almost in tears. How many times have I thought about Christmas, about presents, and all the wonderful food during this season that has just passed and NOT thought about a single needy person in the world? Christ came for them as well. How many children woke up on Christmas with no one to love them, no one to feed them, no one to even pay them any attention? How many people will wake up in that same state tomorrow?

How can I sit here thinking about decorations for the house? How can I go out and spend so much money on presents and on myself and not think of the ones who really need?

Goodness, it is so easy to get caught up in the comfort of my lifestyle here. I have everything I need and much more that I don’t. I’m afraid that this “comfort culture” is becoming a horrible vacuum in my life…it is creeping into the crevices and eradicating all traces of “radical” in me. It scares me when I really think about it.  

How many opportunites am I missing? How many lives could have been changed? And where do I go from here?

After being at Passion 2011 earlier this week, I see that there are areas in my life where what I say I believe and what I actually do don't match up. Oh God! May my heart always be broken for such as these, your people that you love! Show me You will and help me get uncomfortable enough to follow it!

Thus, I have made up my mind to sell or give away my wedding dress.

Don't get me wrong. I love it. But it has to go. I don't need it. How can I keep something of such worth that  has only sentimental value to me when there are so many people who are poor and needy? How can I hord my riches and call myself a Christ-follower? There's no reason it can't be put to good use, instead of hanging in the closet until it is outdated and worthless.

So I'm asking someone, anyone who can't afford a wedding dress to email me and I will give it to you. Or if anyone is getting married and wants to buy it, I will sell it to you. And I want to give all of the money away to those who really need. I hope that through it, someone's life will be changed for good. I hope that this will be the first step towards getting rid of my "comfortable" mindset. My desire is for my manner of life to be worthy of the gospel of Christ.

So if you want it, here it is in all it's beauty. But I am convinced that is will be only more beautiful if it is used to help the needy, to help spread the glory of Jesus Christ to the ends of the world.

It's Jasmine Bridal, from last springs collection, style F260.

Size 2, but it is taken up so its a bit smaller than that.

Though I admit that it will be hard for me to part with it, I know it's what I need to do.

Email me for more info at

"Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys." (Luke 12:33)
"If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." (1 John 3:17-18)


Jeanine said...

thanks for the reminder about the huge need that runs rampant all around us. I know, I too easily forget and my perspective gets skewed and start collecting things for myself. We ask God why he wont do anything to alleviate their pain and need and he says I did–I sent you. So thank you for your renewed commitment and inspiration :)) Good luck selling your dress.

jenchristine said...

Thanks so much for the encouragement Jeanine. After being at Passion I realized (yet again) that I have no excuse for not making a difference in the world. I hope I can discipline myself to think like this!

lacey said...

what a beautiful thing you are doing for someone. whether you sell your dress or give it to someone in need God is blessing their life through your goodness.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I don't know if I'm way too late on this, but you should consider posting this at - Meg, the woman who runs the site, has started a "sisterhood of the traveling dress," and you can give away your dress to someone there.

Amanda V said...

this is such a great idea :) I have been reading a lot of your posts, and it is crazy how much we have in common! The Princess Ariel Post was awesome...every since I was little I was obsessed with her too...haha I would watch all the movies I could find on her over and over & my 4th birthday party was themed Little Mermaid of course! haha keep up the great's so amazing to get to see how God is working in other people's life!

Laura said...

wow, I can't imagine giving up your wedding dress. and I'm only 13. but, thats true commitment. amazing, once again, your are.

Laura said...

hi, I saw one of your posts about bleak house? I don't know what it is, but, I saw one of the girls, 'Esther', I believe, is in North and South by BBC, aaah I love it! and I just wanted to recommend it ;) do Make sure it is by BBC, and it isn't about the war at all ;)


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