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  • Writer's pictureRenata Joseph

Empty Hands, Open Heart

I had a talk with our 11 year old daughter this evening. Earlier, the family had taken a new family photo to send to our friends and family who support us here on the mission field. Brooklyn, ever one to emote, told me she feels bad that people are supporting us financially and she's not "doing anything." I admit to having felt the same insecurities that she is grappling with.

What followed was a conversation about the impact we make on people's lives, the challenge of life not living up to our expectations, and the frustration of living in a pandemic. These issues and more haunt all of us, I expect.

At different times in my life, I've often felt like I didn't have anything to give, or that my contribution was paltry; as a broke college student, single missionary, newly-wed, young mother, working mother, foster parent...Do you see a trend? In each season I questioned my impact. Each time I had little to give, but offered it nonetheless. Whether or not I eventually saw the fruit of my labor, I came to acknowledge that my contribution, partnered with God's power was more than enough.

Acts 3:6

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you.

In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”

As Christians, we won't always have the thing people are asking for; the handout, the job, the shortcut to easy street. As a missionary, I often feel so empty-handed when needs arise. But, Peter's story reminds me that every encounter is an opportunity for God to use me to heal, encourage, restore. I may not have silver or gold, but I have hope and joy and love. I have a Savior and a reason to keep going. Let that be our mantra, let that awaken our expectations and open our hearts to be difference-makers, world changers in big ways and small. Empty hands, yet open hearts.

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