By MARY KAYE FALCONY
CONNECTING FAITH AND LIFE
“Don’t ever let me think, dear God, that I was anything but the instrument for Your story” (Flannery O’Connor).
Several years ago, I came across a book entitled “Kisses from Katie.” Katie Davis, the author, has a very interesting story that is filled with so much wisdom and insight. For those who choose Christianity as our way of life and Christ as Lord, Katie reminds us how we are called to live in this world.
As a senior in high school, Katie Davis-Majors spent three weeks in Uganda working with poor children. Upon her return to the U.S., she knew that she had to return to this place and these children. Katie decided to delay college, and she committed to teaching kindergarten for a year at a Ugandan orphanage. Katie fell in love with the people and culture. Now, over 10 years later, she calls Uganda her home. By the time Katie was 25, she was an adoptive mom of 14 Ugandan girls who had no place to call home or anyone to care for them.
As Katie lived and worked among the people, she began to understand the needs of the children and their families. She believed there were solutions to some of the challenges they faced. Many of the children who lived at the orphanage were not orphans, but they were sent there by their parents for food, shelter and an education. Katie began asking people back home if they might be able to sponsor these children so they could live with their families and still receive the necessities of life, and receive an education. This endeavor grew, and currently over 600 children benefit from what is now known as Amazima Ministries and all the diverse services it has to offer. In the Ugandan language, amazima means truth. Amazima Ministries is a witness to the truth that lives are changed by living the truth of Jesus Christ.
I was drawn to learn more about Katie and her story when I read these words she wrote: “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 14 little girls and for 400 schoolchildren; 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.”
I can’t tell you how many times these words have inspired and motivated me to continue to try to do what I can, where I am, to make life a little lighter and a little bit better for someone. Sometimes, that someone is a total stranger; a friend; a friend of a friend; or a family member. There are always opportunities that God seems to lay before us. Each and every day, there is a choice to be made by each of us. Will I be a witness of God’s great love to this individual or this group of people?
Flannery O’Connor, the great 20th century author, tells us, “We are the instrument for His story.” We must allow our lives to be used in this way. I think we underestimate God’s ability to work through us, even if our acts may seem of no consequence to us – such as a small kindness, being present or a moment spent listening. You are telling the story with your life. Jesus will indeed change the world, but he invites you to be an active part of it – wherever you happen to be.