I remember the way their hands felt in mine.
Their eagerness to simply walk beside you and the soft heart that they possessed within. The genuine offer of friendship that they so easily offered to me-a perfect stranger, but to them an eagerly accepted part of the family.
These little hands and love-filled hearts were found in the streets of a beautiful area of Africa, and I can easily say that my days spent with them were some of the best that I have ever had.
The smile that gleamed from their eyes and the laughter that so easily spilled from their-far from easy-lives was a constant challenge to my own soul-do I posses this kind of joy?
As I think back to my days in Ghana, I try my best to recall each and every name, while mentally tracing again the outline of their sweet little faces.
The truth of it is, I’d gladly have stayed. I’d gladly go back. In a land where children aren’t always so often held and not each one of them knows in the depths of their hearts that they are so very, deeply loved-isn’t there need enough to give your whole lifetime.
And yet, there are more faces-more hearts in need of love and more hands yet to be held.
Rather than wishing for a place where God isn’t sending me just this moment, what if I chose to give myself fully to those who have been placed right in front of me, trusting that God doesn’t make a mistake in where He places each one of His children?
Today, I’m not in Africa, and I don’t know when I will be again.
Today, I work an average job in an average town, and nothing at all seems one bit extraordinary.
And yet, if God has placed me here and if God has given me this spot then isn’t there a greater purpose still to be done right here?
Each day that I open those coffee shop doors, I open them up to countless children of every kind of age.
Each day that I stand behind that counter and do something as ordinary as taking their order, I get the chance to get to know each one a bit better.
Doesn’t the heart that’s been wounded by a parents divorce,
The ears that have yet to hear of a soul-transforming love,
The eyes that rarely see a real and genuine smile that’s meant just for them,
The countless girls who look in so many wrong places to tell them of their worth,
And the littlest of them all who are used to simply being in another person’s way, don’t these little lives count for the Kingdom just as well?
We like to glamorize the life that the world deems as exciting. We like to measure our spiritual success using all of the world’s types of methods.
We like to tell ourselves every day that the realest work isn’t where we’re at, but rather where we must one day get to.
The truth is friend, you are where you are for an eternal purpose and if you aren’t able to share Jesus with the ordinary little girl, carrying a plain old back pack on her shoulders, headed off to her ordinary school, then will you ever be able to endure through the toughest battles to reach the little school girl in some distant foreign country?
You might be surprised at just how ordinary it feels to love other people well, even if it is on the other side of the world.
You want purpose, you want excitement, friend I invite you-look no further than right outside your door, and let the God who sees all, be the one to determine when your door moves.
If we learn to do this well, it won’t matter the location of that door- we’ll all play a part in changing this whole world.