Seventeen years ago my husband Jay (an unknown graphic artist living in Dayton, OH at the time) designed The Martyrs’ Cross to be a tool to remember persecuted Christians around the world in prayer and deed, a handful of people knew about it, oh, and God. And because of that last “detail” over ten thousand crosses and 26 nations laterÂ it is a worldwide symbol of remembrance and prayer for His persecuted body. This symbol that “should have” never been anything but small became powerful because God. God wants to do this with our lives as well.
Who knew a little piece of silver skillfully shaped: could express and strengthen hearts, could create so much attraction that more-cashiers-than-not end up asking, “What is that around your neck?”, could communicate love to those who feel forgotten causing tears upon receiving, and boldness upon wearing, could spur us on to remembrance in prayer and action in the “mundane” of life?
The truth is, we’re all better off, realizing that even “big” by the world standards is still small, compared to God. “What can we give?” is the wrong question, but “What will He do with our small offerings?” is a curious, exciting and passionate way to live.
â€œGive yourself fully to God. He will use you to
accomplish great things on the condition
that you believe much more in His love
than in your own weakness.â€
~ Mother Theresa
This is what God does with the “small”, while we serve little children, and other forgotten ones, when we’re hidden from view, with little Mary, in little Bethlehem, from a little manger, with Gideon’s 300 men, with our small prayers, with our small lives â€”God.
With God, nothing is impossible, it’s true. With God, small is the “new” huge.
Three Easy Tools
Here’s three easy tools for us this month to intentionally make ourselvesÂ available for His purposes in this world: tools for prayer, tools that help us believe more in His love than in our own weaknesses or someone else’s supposed powerfulness and live that way too.
- Lay your eyes onÂ The World Watch List from Open Doors
I am eager to see this every year. For as many years as I can rememberÂ about modern day persecution North Korea is at the top. We cannot forget them or the 51* other nations where the body of Messiah labors under harsh conditions. Their #1 request is always prayer. When peopleÂ who experience miracles regularly ask for that, I’m paying attention.
- Put your hands on a newÂ prayer and learning guide calledÂ Christians Facing Islamic Extremists from The Voice of the Martyrs.Â
There is more than ISIS when it comes to Islamic extremist groups persecuting Christians, but who and where? Through The Voice of the Martyrs we can educated ourselves, and our families to “watch and pray”. Â Click the title above to get it.
- Listen to some good newsÂ on the VOM radio on iTunes or get the new VOM Pray Today mobile app at the iTunes store, because it’s not just bad news. It’s amazing news actually, a different mindset to shake us a little from our own ruts. Every time I hear another story about a Muslim named Muhammed having a vision of Jesus I pray that Jesus will do it again, I believe more. Unlike the mainstream news, here we can get a report from those who have been there, seen the joy and can tell us what difference our “little” really is making.Every chance I’ve gotten to spend time with a persecuted Christian, I have received far more than I’ll ever know how to give â€” they stand in the grace of living like Jesus.If you have a mobile device the app is too great and easy to miss, it brings up a specific prayer request every day, and is a connection to people we’d never otherwise meet or learn from. I like it. Â WeÂ can listen while we fold the laundry or commute to work. (Again, we get no compensationÂ for sharing this)
Get the Big Vision of Thinking Small
In his book With God in Solitary Confinement, Richard Wurmbrand speaks from his isolated Communist prison cell,
Now I see reality as it is: a burden I have to bear… If God lives in me and in you, it depends on us whether beauty will conquer, or whether mankind will deteriorate more and more…
If our vision isn’t that big today, trust me when I tell you, hanging out with the persecuted church will change that, not because they are super heroes, because they are “everyday, ordinary” heroes. The world changing voice of Martin Luther King Jr. still points ahead for us, he understood and valued the place of “small” too:
If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way…
If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.
For me, taking the first steps toward change that I want almost always starts with where I put my eyes and head. And I think God made us all that way, I like how He designed the temple to have lots of sights and sounds to call our hearts. If we pray for the eyes to see, He will show us the whole world is full of these. These are just a few suggestions and tools, I hope they’re helpful or you find your own, and know that no part of love is in vein or small today.
May God give us all eyes to see!
“You never know who God is gonna use, a princess or a baby, or maybe even you or me…”
~ From Rich Mullins song, Who God is Gonna Use, The World as Best as I Remember It
*Only 50 nations are named by Open Doors, Voice of the Martyrs USA names two more to know about.