I’ve been in ministry long enough to see that some of those that are destitute and impoverished choose to be that way. They have found something that they value more than their clothes, their food, and their shelter. They choose to live in a cardboard box rather than to give whatever it is up or to accept what is being offered. It is no less sad to me.
In Guatemala I learned that there is a whole community that live on and in the dump eating whatever they find, living in boxes or makeshift shanties. They have made this a village within the city; they even have electricity there! Children are raised in this place, babies are born here, and what looks like a trash pile to us has become their home. As our leader was briefly telling us about this, God nudged my heart, “You are a box dweller.”
Immediately I disagreed with Him, “Me?!? A box dweller!? No way! I am open to all denominations. I don’t discriminate. I believe in gifts and the power of the Holy Spirit! I am NOT a box dweller!” Even in the midst of my argument, He spoke. He addressed the biggest box that I live in – FEAR. And He pointed out over and over the places that I attempted to contain Him and revealed that all the time, I was only containing myself and His work in me.
“I AM not in the box,” He repeated.
No. I was.
With fresh awareness I realized that I had not only been living in a box but I had made it home. I was living off the scraps of faith and the crumbs of grace and I called it a feast! I didn’t want to hope too much because then I would be disappointed. I didn’t want to believe in miracles because when they didn’t happen they were easier to dismiss. I didn’t want to trust in His work because if I wasn’t being used that meant I was worthless. I didn’t want to address demons and sickness as enemies of God because I didn’t want to be seen as charismatic. And, the big one, I didn’t want to be ordained because I didn’t want my family to be disappointed. So, I folded the four corners of my insecurity around me and expected nothing more, which is exactly what I got.
I had come on this trip asking God to be what He already was – wild and free and passionate and amazing. And the first day in, He was asking me to be the same.