Word of the Week

When you run out of words, going back to Jesus can be oh so helpful. The one who said it best.

The one who never forced himself on anyone.The one who welcomed all people, no matter if they believed in him or not.

The one who gave us a way of seeing the world that reminds us that things are not always as they seem.

The one who shows us the suffering of our lives in a kingdom larger story.

The one who tells us we don't have measure up or produce enough to be accepted.

The one who blesses the most unlikely of characters (and maybe that is us?)

The one who promises us joy even when things are bleak. The one who always surprises just as He did when these words were first spoken many years ago:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

I've been in Kenya for over five days now-- and all I can say is that even with difficulties (there have been some)-- this place causes joy to rise up for me. It's hard not to keep smiling!

What I mean by joy is not just happiness (though there has been that too), but what that soars, what is deeply anchored in the soul of things, and what opens eyes to the larger picture of what God is doing in this world and what the words of Jesus are truly all about.

Words like:

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. . . .
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

For our eyes have tasted this kind of blessing over these past days and we couldn't feel more inspired to be do this kind of work. We've experienced the blessing of being in the place where we are to be for right now. And even when there are moments of sadness, moments of questioning like "Why does the world have to be so unjust?" (we've seen lots of this too), it's a beautiful kind of living to be here.

Blessings like having beautiful orphans wrapped around your legs and arms, allowing you to love on them:


Blessings like singing Christmas carols with young men with developmental disabilities with smiles bigger than you've ever seen on their face or yours either:


Blessings like watching kids who don't normally get Christmas presents discover the joy of blocks and bubbles:


Blessings like watching the very best Christmas play ever with some of the most beautiful actors you've ever seen:


We are so happy to experience joy looks that looks like this.