What the Hatmaker Said When She Interrupted Me


God keeps interrupting me.

It started with this appetizer last week. On top of that, having just moved to a new place and flexing my “get acquainted” muscles, I’m looking for the places to plug into my community where I can have an impact for Christ. Then, I was chosen to be one of 250 bloggers to receive an advanced review copy of Jen Hatmaker’s updated book, Interrupted. I was primed for Jen’s book, pondering and praying about God’s next move in my life.

For the next few weeks here on Predatory Lies, I’m going to plow through Jen’s book with you. By the time we’re done, you’re going to have to read it just to see if you agree with my revelations from it. (But that’s okay because through July 31, you can get a 20% discount on the book here. Oh, and I’ll be giving away a copy on Predatory Lies, too!)

I’m only a few chapters in right now, but let me tell you, Jen Hatmaker kept me up last night. No, not reading. I’m pretty good about turning the lights out at a reasonable hour even when I’m reading a great book. But she got under my skin; she kept me awake pondering whether or not I’ve totally missed God, if all my attempts to follow Him, to work out my salvation, to hone my vocation and use my little life for His glory—whether I’d gotten it all wrong.

Here’s Jen’s first epiphany: “And from the heights of heaven, this is what I heard: ‘You do feed souls, but twenty-four thousand of my sheep will die to day because no one fed their bellies; eighteen thousand of them are my youngest lambs, starving today in a world with plenty of food to go around.’”

Gut punch.

Jen follows that excerpt from her conversation with Christ with dozens of statistics. It’s heart-rending. Honestly, the statistics have always been available, but most of us have learned to scan over them when we see them in print, or change the channel when the Compassion International commercial comes on, or squirm in our seats when they take a special collection for missionaries in Uganda.

Before you squirm now and bail on me, take heart, I’m going to take a different spin on Jen’s message. Yes, she kept me awake, but it wasn’t God leaning into my heart saying, “You’re not doing enough.”

I wrestled all night, “God what do you want from me? Where am I supposed to go, what am I supposed to do? Is all my Christianity filthy to you because I’m not on my knees cleaning a leper’s sores in India?”

No.

(I know I’m kind of all over the board right now, but bear with me.)

Jen’s right and I’m not wrong. I’m not averting my gaze from her statistics and I’m not going to quit reading the book because it makes me uncomfortable. In fact, I’m going to change my prayer life, increase my financial giving and take brutal inventory of my excess. I’m making a commitment today not to buy anything else this year that is not consumable—no new clothes, dishes or decorations. I am committing before God not to live in blissful ignorance of the needs of God’s global, precious image-bearers.

But God hasn’t called everyone to take up Jen Hatmaker’s mission. God hasn’t called every Christian to march under her banner.

A couple years ago, God wouldn’t let me out from under James 1:27, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”

About that time, He opened doors from Brave and I to become a certified pet therapy team and we’ve been visiting the sick, elderly and lonely. I am passionate about this. It’s not easy. Sometimes it’s boring or frustrating trying to carry on an encouraging conversation with someone on the brink of senility or trying to appear interested when a lonely child won’t stop talking, or pretending I don’t notice a disfigurement, an ugly wound or the dirty hand gripping mine. But I know that I know this is what God has given me to do—and He’s given me a passion for it as well.

Additionally, God has opened doors wider than I ever thought imaginable to speak hope and healing into the lives of several girls pinned down under the weighty lies of an eating disorder. This is brings me joy, challenges me and affects my heart. This too keeps me on my knees asking God for wisdom, words and grace.

Summation? Jen’s book is going to cost me some sleep. She’s awaking my heart to a deeper level of need that I’ve either been unaware of or not wanted to acknowledge. However, her clarion call will press me deeper into my own calling to serve the least of these, dig my hands deeper into the soil of my own mission field and follow the Servant-Savior wherever He leads.

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4 thoughts on “What the Hatmaker Said When She Interrupted Me

  1. I shall add that to my growing “to read” list. Yes, it’s too easy these days to forget about the tragedies that are happening around the world every minute of the day : famine, war, death, injury, loss of family members, loss of homes and possessions. It is easy to forget and ignore these things because once we become aware of what is going on, we then feel guilty for not doing more. However, even the smallest thing that we can do can help, the smallest contribution to charities that work directly with the people in need and that have very low admin costs. Also raising awareness among family friends and colleagues.

    I think your pet therapy work is great and I’m sure it changes lives. I guess you must see different results with different people, but I’m sure that everyone will benefit even if you don’t always see the results immediately.

    I think many things in life are like that and if we don’t plant some tiny mustard sees, we won’t see any results.

    All the best

    DC

  2. I agree, David! I’ve also been reading in the Ligonere devotional about the importance of the “ordinary” Christian life–planting the seeds and growing deep roots in the place we’re planted!

  3. Thanks Abby, for this message. I am a mother of three grown up children the oldest is 35 and the youngest, 31.

    From the time I accepted Christ in my high school days, I have been a leader in the Christian group; through university and in the churches I have attended along with my husband, In the past few years I have had to stay more at home, ministering to the elderly women needing outing and company, as well as younger women who just want to talk or get some advise. I started feeling as though my life is wasting away, although God continues to assure me of who I am.

    We usually think God wants us to continue in active leadership in Christian service when all He wants is for us to add value to our husband’s, our neighbours, our families’ and our acquaintances’ lives. We need to bear in mind that God requires us to just walk with Him as He leads us to make little strides, pushes and nudges.
    Thanks

    1. Fay, Thanks for your comments. It’s actually really encouraging to hear that others have felt this way and learned this lesson too 🙂

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