Rebel in the Rhubarb: Sustainable Change in Haiti

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Rebel in the rhubarb © 2013 Beth Billstrom

See the tulip blooming in the rhubarb patch?   I can picture this boisterous flower, breaking from its ho-hum role amongst the other pretty tulips, packing its bag in a righteous huff, and heading off to make a difference in the world.   I wonder if the little rebel found what it was looking for amongst the rough, prolific rhubarb leaves?

I meet a lot of rebels these days.  Energetic men and women seeking out change, aware that their once comfortable and pretty world isn’t so comfortable or pretty anymore.  If I’m honest, I often feel like a rebel, too.  Many of us have experienced a wake-up call.  We realize that the way we’ve been living our lives, doing our business, and relating to others and God needs an overhaul.   We aren’t looking for quick fixes as much as sustainable change.  We want to make a difference in the world and want that difference to be change that will last.

We view ourselves as healthy, kind, and compassionateWe know the world IS in need and we don’t like it, BUT we’re swimming as fast as we can to keep our own heads afloat. (Truly)  We’re trying to be good people, and we do give where and when we can, but the needs are overwhelming, our time is completely spoken for and our pocketbooks are thinner than we’d likeNow, in addition to healing our earth, our neighbors, our schools, our political world, our banks and our businesses, we’re supposed to grow our own food, go to more stores so that we’re shopping local, read every label of all the food we eat, engage in social media so we stay current but not so much screen time that we hurt our eyes, brains and relationships.  We also are becoming aware that we’re supposed to recycle and compost, spend less and give more, and then relax in the middle of the frenzy…….excuse me, I’m going to go stand in the rhubarb patch and rebel against rebelling!  Wait a minute!  What am I rebelling against??  I’m confused.

Forgive the emotional rant, but  it does feel like this at times.  Reality hurts and we get lost in our trying as well as in our emotions.  We’re doing our best to hoist ourselves on the bandwagon, but where exactly is the bandwagon and how do we make this work in our lives?

I just finished a group study, The 7 Experiment:  Staging Your Own Mutiny Against Excess by Jen HatmakerIt’s not for the faint of heart, but it was a dose of helpful reality.  Over the last few months we fasted ( yes – voluntarily went without) from the daily riches that we Americans mindlessly enjoy.  In addition to the traditional spiritual fast from food, we also sought God and His desires as we fasted from clothes, possessions, media, waste, spending, and stress.   It was more than just engaging in a challenge for the sake of a challenge, this study provoked a major revelation:  My eyes weren’t quite as open to the needs of the world as I might have thought, but God IS very open about which needs are important to Him– caring for His creation as well as the needs of the poor, oppressed, and hungry. 

Ironic isn’t it that looking at the world through God’s eyes replaced my sense of rebellious frustration with a solid dose of humility….but before you send me back to the rhubarb patch to crawl humbly under the leaves, let me share….When God brings you to a place of humility, He also brings you back to the land of the living ready to engage and be of use. I am also convinced that when God speaks to us, He keeps it simple.  So allow me to be simply of use.  If you are lost in a sea of choices about how to make a difference in this world, then start a study such as The 7 Experiment, and find out about God’s plan for caring for His world.  Second, do something now and watch the video below.  You can make a difference by donating to this very worthy organization that cares for the poor, oppressed, and hungry children of Haiti.  Your donations will help these “rebels” committed to God’s plan and sustain the change they are already making.

 

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