By Meighan Stone
In a time of great need and challenge in our world, what is our responsibility as women of faith? Whether in a refugee camp or walking up the steps of Congress or down the street in your own city seeing need and injustice, this question must always be on our minds and hearts.
Worshiping God and praying for those in our church small groups is not enough. God did not call us to live insular lives, of only Him and ourselves; driven by a holy intertia, and drifting from one Sunday to another. Inertia depends on our complacency. And our beloved church becomes just an institution if we do not reach out powerfully and vibrantly to the larger world in service.
We can’t be confused in this time about what we must do–we are called to rise up as women of faith and commitment, andt to serve our communities and the world.
We are called to be uncomfortable. Being of service is rarely convenient or easy. You will be tired. You will be stretched. Praying to be an instrument of peace is one thing, the reality of that daily choice when it starts to become hard or lonely, is another matter.
God will put people and situations in your path that will require your everything. It will cost more of your time, commitment, pride and yes, money, than you can imagine. Do it anyway. You will pray and believe and hope for outcomes that will fail to be seen and humble you. Get up anyway. Resilience often comes through falling down.
We are called to ask ourselves and our communities hard questions. We must be willing to prayerfully consider tough questions and face the truth of our answers. Not just what we say, but what we do. Are there parts of “my city” that I have never set foot in? Have I truly spent time getting to know and understand a member of my workplace or community who is from a different faith or country? It is often said church hour is the most segregated hour in America. If you look at your own house of worship, is that true? And if it is, what will you do to change it?
We must ask ourselves why is it so much easier to malign a great “them” and allow fear to be made a God in our time, instead of confronting ourselves with the honesty and humility Christ calls us to, about what we will do together? Christ did not hesitate to build community or serve. Are we being that bold in our own lives and choices?
More than anything, we are called to be like Christ. The Bible gives us a powerful example, constantly placing Jesus where He should not be. Serving people He should not even speak to, if He had followed the prejudices and judgments of His time. When the Bible says to love your neighbor as yourself, this isn’t offered as a negotiable suggestion. God is clear: it is to be our operating instructions.
The text then, very deliberately, offers no definition of who is your neighbor. In our polarized time, will you commit now to walk out such a radical idea and construct? Perhaps God is still speaking, calling us to service, without restraint or label.
What will we be known by as women of faith and followers of Christ? Our time is a humbling challenge and opportunity to show the best of what we believe to be true, that self-sacrificial love, faith and hope are our most powerful weapons to change circumstances and lives in our communities and world.
It is this kind of service that we can decide to make the mission of our lives. Crisis has a way of revealing the truth of who we are and what we believe. So today, let us decide to be known by the power and generosity of our commitments.
Meighan Stone, who will be hosting a leadership lunch during The Rising conference (register HERE), currently serves as President of Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai’s Malala Fund, working to empower girls globally to achieve their potential through a quality secondary education. Meighan believes communities can and must equip women to be powerful forces for change. She hopes to encourage girls and women to speak up, take action and serve in excellence.
The Rising conference is going to be a life changing weekend with hundreds of girls at DAR CONSTITUTION HALL, plus guest speakers Christine Caine, Lisa Harper and Robert Madu. Who are YOU bringing? Don’t wait to REGISTER!
“Going to the Beautiful You Conference has been an uplifting and treasured time with girlfriends. The speakers share such powerful testimonies that touch my heart and encourage me long after I leave. I look forward to coming each year and am excited to bring my girlfriends with me!” –Sue