Beach time is reading time, and I finally started a book I’ve wanted to read for a while. I’m only a few chapters into Kisses from Katie (Howard Books, 2012), and already I am captivated and convicted on so many levels, challenging my comfort and confronting twisted motives. Exposing things I’d rather not deal with because of what it might require of me. Yet I can’t put it down.
It is the true story of Katie Davis, a young girl who fell in love with Uganda, Africa, and its people during a three-week mission trip over winter break her senior year in high school. After graduation the following spring, she left everything and everyone she knew and moved to Uganda to teach kindergarten and serve Jesus there. A one-year commitment led to a lifetime.
As I sit quietly with the Lord this morning, her story fresh on my mind, my thoughts keep going back to what she shares about the magnitude of the needs around her and the fact that for every one person she helps, millions more are in dire need. In her words, it’s like “emptying the ocean with an eyedropper.” She continues:
I have learned that I will not change the world. Jesus will do that. I can, however, change the world for one person. I can change the world for fourteen little girls and four hundred school children and for a sick and dying grandmother and for a malnourished, neglected, abused five-year-old. And if one person sees the love of Christ in me, it is worth every minute. In fact, it is worth spending my life for.
The idea of the power of one isn’t new. Most of us have heard it at least once as an appeal to get involved or get behind something rather than think one person can’t make a difference. For some reason, though, it’s as if I am receiving the truth of it for the first time. Perhaps it’s exactly what I need to hear.
Because sometimes I get discouraged. When my book sales and blog stats are static, and the last blog I wrote feels like the last good one I’ll ever write, I need to remember what matters to God: that I, one person, point to the One person who matters most of all.
Jesus was one. The One. God’s only Son, come to earth in the form of man. One perfect, sinless man who died on the cross to pay the penalty for sin in order that you and I could have the forgiveness of sin and eternal life in heaven.
Katie is one.
One person who said “Yes” to God. Yes to loving the unloved. Yes to staying longer than the year she and her parents agreed upon. Yes to securing an African address for the non-profit the Lord led her to start. Yes to adopting the first of her fourteen children at the age of nineteen. Yes to each child and human God brought to her attention, regardless of their disease or condition. Yes to loving so that those who had never known love might know the love of a Savior.
Today, her non-profit ministry, Amazima Ministries (amazima.org), feeds 1,200 children a day, sponsors the cost of school tuition, uniforms, and supplies for more than 600 students who also receive three meals a day, extensive medical care, and spiritual discipleship, mentoring, and counseling.
The power of one.
I am one.
You are one.
The power we need to affect just one life is in our “Yes” to God.
We will not change the world. Jesus will do that. But we can do what He asks for the one He puts before us.
What will we say?
There couldn’t be a more critical time. As we face some of the most challenging times our generation has ever known, a political party or figure is not our answer. Changing laws won’t change hearts, but changed hearts can be a part of changing a culture. Changing a nation.
It starts with one.
Katie is doing something so much more credible and worthy than I could ever imagine doing. To my knowledge, God is not calling me to following in her footsteps, as much as I’d love to walk alongside her for a time. But He is calling me to follow Him as He orders my steps where He wants me to go to do what He has for me to do.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing it by writing and blogging even though the world’s measure might indicate it’s quitin’ time. When I ask God, the consistent answer I get is to keep doing what I’m doing.
I come alive when I read the Bible and search for meaning, and God makes new connections that steer me and might help someone else. I come alive when given the opportunity to share my testimony and His word with others, whether in a blog or a book or from a podium.
Always for One, and even for one.
Lord, may the desires of our hearts be Your desires for us. Please order our steps according to Your purpose for each of us as we become wholly Yours today.