over here again. humbled.

Can you imagine the stench?

Joseph has walked and Mary ridden 90 miles in the scorching sun, the wind whipping around their faces and caking them with dust from the dirt road. More sweat pours from Mary’s brow as she experiences the pains of labor for the first time. The stable is packed with all the travelers’ animals. Flies buzz around them in the heat and the air is heavy with the smells of sickly sweet hay and kmanure.

And into this, a baby enters.

I have witnessed this kind of birth before. Woman sighs and baby falls right into the dirt and in the dark of a tiny mud hut with the light of just a thin candle our eyes search for something, anything, sharp to cut the cord. Water is a luxury and too far to fetch at this hour so we wrap the baby in whatever filthy rag-scraps we can find without even wiping her off first.

Joseph, still merely a child himself, searches for anything he can find in the dim light to cut the cord and swaddle his child, probably rags carrying the afore mentioned stench and the dirt of the journey. Trembling and exhausted they wrap Him as best they can, and swatting flies away lay him in the same trough out of which these animals have been eating.

Behold, the Savior.

And in this moment God fulfils every promise and every prophecy. This, God’s perfect time. God does not wait for the world to get ready, He enters right into the mess.

He makes Himself very least, no more status or opportunity than an easily overlooked infant in the slums where I spend so many hard hours. Very least so that He can commune with the very most desperate – you and me. He doesn’t mind that I am not ready yet and He doesn’t mind the wretched condition of my heart or the stench of my sin. God’s time is now and He enters into the mess, ready or not.

His perfect timing, now. Now is where He has called us. And we are just not ready yet. We need to clean up the house a bit and pray a little more and seek more counsel and we don’t know how to do that yet and oh, we have our excuses. And God says, “I’m here now, and I am ok with the mess because I am here for the messy.”

God doesn’t need us to be ready for Him; He has been ready for us since the beginning of time and the Messiah is here calling us to commune with the Holy One, to eat at His table.

I want the house to be organized and kids to be clean and nicely dressed and I want dinner to come out of the oven on time, but at the end of the day they laundry still piles and there are still crumbs in the corner and can anyone remember if I brushed my teeth today? And it can’t be the New Year yet because I am just not ready for it to be a new year yet.

But I remember when I wasn’t ready to move to Uganda. I remember when I wasn’t ready to kiss the people I loved the most goodbye. I remember when I didn’t have enough money to start a ministry, and I remember when I wasn’t old enough to be a mother, and I remember when I didn’t know how to parent. I remember when I couldn’t cook for fifteen people and when I didn’t want to share my house and my things and my life with sick people and addicts. I remember when I was afraid of the slum community that now holds hundreds of friends and when I was terrified that my daughter would never walk and when I was scared that we would never heal after tragic loss. And I remember that never, not once, was I really as ready as I wanted to be. And I remember that God kept all His promises, every last one, in His perfect time.

This new season looms and I don’t know what is next. But He doesn’t need me to be ready for this season because He is ready. He just needs me to be clinging to His feet.

Now, God’s perfect time.

115 thoughts on “

  1. Katie – I saw your story through another link and was so inspired by your selflessness and charity. I am not a Christian, but feel that you embody the best of Christ's mission, and have truly challenged me to do better with my own life.

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  2. I love your book and your story. It helped me through a time when I was looking for God. You and your friends in Uganda taught me that I should pray first. I'm putting that into action. I'm reading thee Word and praying and I'm working hard to see Him. And He does work in perfect timing.
    ~Sky

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  3. Katie,
    I realy love your blog, and everyting you do. I know that when I am older I want to be a missionary I fell God is leading me to Africa. I hope you and your family are all feeling well. Thank you for every thing you do!

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  4. Been wrestling all day with how deep and how far God is calling me. How can I do more? Fit more? Love more? Why I have I been chosen to write the words? Your post has encouraged me to continue to practice, practice, practice hospitality. To practice and be a good steward with what I have been given, so that when the time comes for more, I will be able through Christ who strengthens me.

    Love and prayers for your ministry (which often comes to mind),

    Katherine

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  5. I've made it about half way through your book. And I've laughed with you and I've cried with you. Because I experienced a lot of that when I went to haiti. But that's not what I wanted to say.
    I wanted to say thank you. I love and am inspired by your life and reading this little chapter was exactly what I needed to hear today. You knew what it was like to be in high school. Sometimes it can be the toughest thing in the world. But your last paragraph hit home.
    God's always ready. Patience is definitely a learned thing, as you know. Ha. But please keep posting! Amazing how you're half way around the world from here in TN and the rest of the U.S. but God is using you to impact lives even here. Bet you didn't know that your post from a month ago would speak directly to this 16 years old's life, tonight. Brings joy to my heart and tears to my eyes.
    Expanding the kingdom, For His Glory.
    Wangè wangè Jèsus wangè.

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  6. dear Katy…how amazing is your story. It is real and raw and deep and sorrowful. I am still being fed with milk and I can only imagine the grace that gets you thru each day. I am a 65 year old grandmother and I have so much to learn. God Bless you
    ychno

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  7. I'll be there with you someday to usher in God's instant healing power on those who need healing, those who are blind, oppressed, and passed away. Until then, may God himself grant you continued favor on this day and forever.

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  8. Hey Katie,

    Your blog has deeply encouraged me. I know that He wanted me to stay among the refugees here in Thailand and Burma border… I am not ready to say goodbye to my loved ones… I am not ready financially either.. ALso I am not ready to leave the job I love, too… but it really encourages me to see your honesty on how you felt.. makes me feel like I'm not alone in this… thank you.

    Linda

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  9. Dear katie, my name is solana I am almost 15 and trying to figure out what god wants me to do with my life I have just started to read your book but I have wanted to work in a ministry with children for a few years now because I love kids so much. But I would love to talk to you and ask you for some advice. If you read this could you please email me at loulou201175@hotmail.com it would be amazing if I could talk to you.

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  10. Dear katie, my name is solana and I am 15 I have started to read your book and a few years ago I really felt like i wanted to work or start a ministry for kids. I am not sure what god has called me to do yet but I am trying to figure it out I really love kids and want to do something to change things I just want to open a house or work at an home for orphaned kids and just love on them and help them. I would love it if you read this and would email me at loulou201175@hotmail.com because I would really like some advice from you 🙂 I will be praying for you.

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  11. I love your blog– have for a long time. It's so good, and you don't write so often that it's overwhelming. 🙂

    I will say, please PLEASE only use sterilized things to cut those umbilical cords. You probably do, and probably already know this, but infection can very easily travel up the umbilical cord into the newborn and be fatal. So… take a few extra moments to put that knife over a flame or dunk it in rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to disinfect it before using it to slice the cord (preferably once it stops pulsing). You can also not cut the cord until well after the placenta is delivered.

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