Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Lord of the Rings as a Biblical Metaphor..Who Woulda Thought?

Every day God brings key people into our lives and provides life experiences that shape and mold us into the person He's creating us to be.  He brought Noonday into my life and through it my eyes have been opened and my heart is breaking for the things that break His heart.  Before becoming an Ambassador for Noonday I would read Mathew 25 and think our family had that verse covered because we sponsor a child through Compassion International.  Check!

Mathew 25: 35-36, 40 says

"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me."

"The King will reply, Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."

I started to realize that I wasn't actually doing these things.  Instead I was turning a blind eye away from poverty, suffering, and injustice.  I guess you could call it my sin of omission.  So now I can't seem to get a few questions off of my mind:

What are the injustices in the world right now that we can't see?

Didn't Jesus tell us to love people unconditionally?

Are we too preoccupied with our own church programs and people that we're failed to see the bigger picture?

What does adoption look like for our family?

Luke 12:48 says, "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked."  Y'all I've been given much!  Like much much much and so I have to take Luke 12:48 pretty seriously.

This past Saturday I was sitting in a  room with 130 Noonday ambassadors.  These are women who get it.  I don't have to explain the loss of sleep over the marginalized or explain to them how buying cute clothes at great prices really isn't a good deal!  These women get it!  One of our speakers, Jennie Allen, who happens to be the leader of the IF gathering, laid her dirty laundry out for all of us to smell .  She was transparent and vulnerable to the point that I feel like most of what she shared should be left in that room.

One thing she shared has not been able to turn off in my brain though.  She used a scene from the Lord of the Rings, which is a movie I happen to love.  In the scene she set before us she weaved a metaphor in there that I needed to see.  That I needed to be made aware of:

"In the Lord of the Rings the ring has magical powers.  Ironically, though, whoever possesses the Ring ultimately finds that the Ring possesses him, as the allure of its power becomes too great to resist.  The more one wears it and experiences its power, the harder it is to remove it or to part with it.  The miserable Gollum, once so possessed by desire for it, had been reduced to a shriveled and pathetic creature who thought of nothing else but his "precious" --the One Ring.  He had all but lost his humanity.  Perhaps you see the metaphor."

"There are things in our lives that can also possess us in an unwholesome way.  For the follower of Christ, anything that becomes more precious to us than our relationship with the Lord becomes destructive.  And like the Ring, these are often things that seem beautiful and shiny, that is, good and positive in our lives: career advancement, a growing bank account, our spouses and children. And these things may, indeed, be good, but they become stumbling blocks when they begin to possess us, when they divide our hearts and compromise our commitment to the Lord.  "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matt. 6:21)"

I needed to see this metaphor because helping the poor, oppressed, marginalized, orphaned, is a good thing.  It's a really really good thing.  But God has to be a part of the story because if He isn't you get worn down and you forget why you are even doing this thing in the first place.  Noonday is a good thing.  It's a great thing.  It's changing the lives of artisans all over the world.  It's paving a pathway out of poverty.  It's bringing orphans home to their forever families.  It's restoring dignity and helping to provide self-worth again.  It's satisfying the needs of the oppressed.  The hours and hours spent lugging accessories from trunk show to trunk show and sharing the stories are not in vain because God is in it!  It is His story!  It is their story!  It is MY story!  I AM A NOONDAY AMBASSADOR because this is exactly where God wants me to be right now!

If Gathering Information http://ifgathering.com/
Noonday Collection http://www.jenniferweber.noondaycollection.com/
Noonday Collection Conference Theme Song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeyNVOepYyo

"I've got the eye of the tiger, the fighter dancing through the fire.  Cause I am a champion and you're gonna hear me ROAR.  Louder Louder than a lion cause I am a champion and you're gonna hear my ROAR."

The lead artisan in Uganda, Jalia, sharing her life story and what Noonday means to her and her community.  Still can't believe that I met her!  She is a woman after God's heart!

A fellow ambassador who I was able to drive and room with.  She is an adoptive momma and shared with me so many pieces of Godly wisdom!
The founder of Noonday Collection, Jessica, and I.  I felt like I was meeting a rock star. 

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