[an excerpt from Jillian’s blog]
one of my roommates recently lent me her donald miller ‘your story series,’ which is a 6 disc collection of speeches miller has given..these gave me new insight on many things…but one that spoke particularly to what i was feeling was in the last disc called ‘your story and the cross,’ in this disc, donald miller was speaking about what it means to live out the cross of christ…through his speech he encouraged the thousand men he was speaking to, to live out the power god has given them to change the world
he spoke of passivity and even when you don’t speak up or do something it actually speaks volumes…god has given us this enormous power and we need to realize we have a choice to build or to destroy..and not doing anything or speaking up is still a choice…and sometimes that speaks louder than anything that could have been spoken
“our passivity..our sitting and doing nothing or our beliefs that we don’t have the power to actually hurt people..is hurting people..it’s killing some of the people in our lives….and we just have to go..’you know what i have to live in the power of christ”
“the way we have to combat this is we have to reach into ourselves and say i have christ in me i have the power to fix some of this..to help..we are too often like fans of jesus instead of one with jesus”
another thing miller spoke of was the need we have for people in our lives that speak truth to us..that god is using us…that what we say to others matters and what we do to others matters..“and if you don’t think you have power..you’re crushing people” god uses others to get through to us…to highlight and affirm our strengths..to build us up when we need it…
and after listening to this last disc i immediately connected it to an experience i had at work not long ago…something that has stuck with me since then..so brightly and so clear..i was chatting with a seafarer that i have grown to know throughout the months of working at the center..our conversations have always provided me with new insights on life and faith..and i’m grateful for these conversations…this one in particular he directed questions toward me and my faith..and if you know me well you know that i am much more of a listener than a talker…for many reasons…but he asked me if i often spoke of my faith and mind..i said no…i tend to enjoy showing my faith through my actions…and he said “you should talk…you need to talk about faith…because you are real..you’re faith is genuine and real and more people need to hear about your faith” and throughout this conversation it dawned on me he was one of the only people i’ve known to see me as i have always wanted to be seen..
he saw me so clearly and genuinely i was taken aback…..he saw god in me…my light..he saw past what so many other people get caught up on…and i’ve not been that grateful for anything in a long while…it was the best thing i could have heard at that moment…i found part of what i was unknowingly seeking..a genuine true conversation..something that was deeper than the superficial layer we all have the tendency to live on..i saw god through him..i saw his light…
we need to be more intentional with our lives…we leave imprints on the people we come into contact with…what we buy at the store or watch on the television have an impact on things that go on in the world..what we buy into in society has an impact on people all over the world..there is no denying that..and as americans we hold an even bigger responsibility in how the world is shaped..in it’s priorities…in what it values..
we have power be sure of that…it just doesn’t always seem so clear..but your words can stick with someone..for the day…for the week…and even forever and sometimes it’s what you’re unwilling to say..or do…your passivity can stick with someone..as if they weren’t worth the words or the action…
and although i am not always entirely convinced i have this power…i know it’s true for others…because i know for certain that i have held onto what others have said to me…what they’re passivity has told me…the good experiences lift me out of trouble…and their words or actions can easily crush me if i didn’t have those good experiences..but i store them in the back of my mind..
so i choose to feel confident that god is using others’ gifts to get through to me..to let me know he still cares for me..loves me more than i can ever comprehend..and he does the same through me and my gifts..that’s why it’s so important for us to be aware of them and use them genuinely since they can easily alter someones day..week..and even life..
we have the choice to build or destroy