But I think we can get so wrapped up in doing that big thing, getting that promotion or that amount of money for that special orphan, that we can forget why we're doing what we're doing. That we're only a part of really huge picture, and that we're not painting it: we ARE the paint that's being used as the Painter sees fit!
If you're a Christian, somebody who appreciates an inspirational movie, or both, I highly recommend you get out and see the movie Soul Surfer, the true inspiring story of Bethany Hamilton, a now pro-level surfer in Hawaii who at 13 lost her arm (and nearly her life) to a freak shark attack, but found the courage to get back up and try again. Before the attack, however, we see a scene in the movie at her Youth Group, where the youth minister (played by Carrie Underwood) that night is showing them an interesting concept: she starts with an extreme closeup of an image, and lets people take guesses at what it is. Almost every time, the teens (and the watching audience too) gives an incorrect guess of what the image is, judging by its closeup view. The point of the exercise, according to Carrie, is to show things can look a certain way when we're zoomed in on our little "patch of canvas" if you will. Our little blotch of paint can seem insignificant and unimportant to how things turn out (from our point of view), but in reality can be part of a detail that makes the painting of this world's story all the more beautiful. And being a photographer who knows that every single pixel in my photos contributes to the overall feel, look and impression (or lack thereof) of the picture, I can attest to that.
I'm being painfully honest when I say I know that I'm guilty of this myself. I see my tiny little part of the picture and I try and judge what I think should be happening off of that. I feel like/wish that I could inspire tons and tons of people, organize mission trips all on my own for people to go on across the world and SEE orphan ministry right before them, raise tons of cash, etc. While I probably do a poor job of keeping the site and its pages up to date as is, I wish I could do more. And sometimes I wonder if I make the difference. But just a few days ago, as we celebrated the official legal certification of Sonya and AJ/Dusty as members of the Hinz Family, I was reminded just how much things have moved with this little ministry. This site was started to pray and find a home for Sonya, the little girl I only met briefly before leaving my sister Julia's orphanage, maybe forever. when I found out she was older, I just wanted to get her out of there with all in my power. So one night as I was skyping with a friend, talking about orphan ministry, I created this website. And while I posted about many orphans, and prayed for many, Sonya was that special little tyke that always kept me going back. If it really was God's will (which it wasn't) that she wasn't gonna be adopted, I wanted to feel at least like I had given it a shot.
I remember the day that I found out that our blogger buddy Helle had become Sonya's Easter warrior. I commented saying thank you, because it meant a lot to me even if I was just another advocate putting her info out there. I checked the blog later to see if Helle had commented on my comment. But what was waiting for me there! While I didn't realize who it was until shortly after, Sonya's new mommy commented on the post too, that after the tragic loss of one of the little boys they were going to adopt to Leukemia, they were stepping forward in faith to adopt Sonya. I nearly fell down the stairs in my haste to tell mom the good news. A little while later, I started talking with the Hinzes on Facebook, and have been blessed to shoot the breeze with them a lot as they have been finishing the in-country part of the process. As I was talking with Mrs. Hinz on Facebook after they passed court, she said one thing that stuck in my mind:
God has worked through you too in this process!
With that, the rush of memories and
So maybe someday, this blog will be the root of a nonprofit organization known throughout the world, changing millions of lives every day. But for now, we're trusting God one step, one child at a time. and loving our little victories all the same.