We had visitors tonight. They walked through our neighborhood and brought with them Tracs and Bibles. I don’t mind these visitors-these young men with their sharp ties and black pants. In fact, I applaud their efforts. They walk for miles, fulfilling the requirements of their faith and their church. I always want to invite them in for cookies, but then I remember that I’m a horrible homemaker and the last time I made cookies was, well, I don’t even know. So typically I give them a nice smile and nod of encouragement after we have a few words they head off towards the next house on their list. That’s what I expected when I opened the door tonight. But that’s not quite what I found.
After the initial pleasantries and our individual establishments of faith and lines drawn in the sand, one of the young men kept pushing. I know this isn’t the typical fashion of their church, and his partner seemed a little taken aback by the other’s continued pushing. Ultimately, we came to one major impasse: he stated that God speaks through a profit and not to each person individually, and I disagreed. Again, I don’t know that he entirely spoke for all of his church, and I have nothing against his church, some of my very closest friends, women of astounding faith, are members.
But we triggered a conversation, he and I, and I have a question to pose to you: what is your mission field?
See, this isn’t the first talk of missions I’ve had this week. Just the other day a student and I were talking about missions work in our field and what it truly means to be a missionary. When you’re learning to be a nurse there is a huge emphasis on time management and I often tell my students to be where their feet are.
I remember growing up and looking at the pictures of families posted around the giant world map on the bulletin board at church. Push pins were planted into countries and territories far away from our little congregation in Montana and it all seemed so exotic. It was still exotic when I boarded a jumbo jet for the first time to fly around the world for my own missions trip. I remember when that first blast of African air hit me like a sticky sweet blow to the chest, and I was hooked. A lifer. I cannot wait to one day return to this place that stole my heart at eighteen.
But I can’t go right now. Because right now I have a house full of munchkins and a room full of nursing students. I have a hubby who needs me and a hospital of patients that I help care for. But isn’t that missions work also?
Isn’t is missions work to wake up every morning and do what God has called you to do that day? Even if it doesn’t seem as glamorous as boarding a plane or climbing on a rickety old bus? I think it is.
I think putting a meal on the table is the work of a missionary’s heart. Driving the car pool is a lesson in patience, and a ministry of love. Throwing in another load of that never ending laundry is like the rinse and spin of the missions field.
You. Yes you. You are a missionary. You, mamma who feels like you can’t save another sock from the dryer, let alone a soul-you are a missionary. You, husband who spends his time putting bread on the table is feeding the hearts of the lost. You are a missionary. You are right now, smack dab in the middle of your very own missions field. And
God? He speaks to you, all you have to do is listen. Even if you aren’t leading the masses, but are herding children. He has a plan for you, and a voice that whispers to your soul.
Because here’s the deal: one soul is no better than the other. One person’s salvation does not mean more than another. So whether that new believer is born in Africa or Atlanta, God smiles.
Be where your feet are, friend. Take pride in the field of missions of which you work. Love the souls and the people that you see each day, because that may just be a heart that is hurting and needs his love.