"Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. (1 Peter 2:11 NLT)
As we near the end of the Enough series at church, I was fortunate to see a living example of a few families that have moved their lives toward enough this week. My brother held an open house for his new office, inviting Paula and Lori from Lopa Art to show their art at his event.
LoPa Art is a non-profit that purchases art (paintings, necklaces, bracelets, purses and more) from artisans in Ethiopia, at fair trade value. LoPa then sells their art in the United States and returns the profits to established Ethiopian non-profits to build schools, feed children and provide medical care for orphans, widows and sick. Awesome, huh? Paula and Lori's families have adopted children from Ethiopia and in the process of traveling there on mission trips, their perfect normal lives have been wrecked for the welfare and eternal hope of these people.
One of the things that Lori said to Celia and me has been rattling around in my head ever since we spoke. As Lori and her husband were considering adopting 3 Ethiopian siblings, one of their daughters expressed her concern with her family becoming "weird". Lori's response was full of grace and wisdom. She told her they wouldn't adopt without her consent, but also reminded her that they already had one adopted Ethiopian child, they no longer went to Europe for fun, but saved and spent their money on mission trips to Ethiopia. In short, she stated that their family was living out the mission of loving those with less than enough for the sake of Christ, so their family was already considered "weird".
How beautiful is that? Her statement just rung in me like an anthem of moving toward enough. If we're dead to this world, and make no mistake, that is our call as followers of Christ, then we can quit seeking to fit in and look "normal".
"And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice - the kind He will find acceptable. This is the way to truly worship Him. Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." (Romans 12:1-2, NLT)
"Normal", friends, is dying and going to hell. I pray our lives look "weird" enough to shake the "normal" up, so we can share with Jesus Christ with them. There is no greater hope and He offers the only life that will never end.
Please check out LopaArt on Facebook or at www.lopaart.com. The art and the mission are beautiful.