In the midst of the “pandemic” named Ebola, God deemed the new year as the culmination of a 10 year call for ME, Cynthia K. Stiverson, to teach, preach, share Jesus and introduce Woven to the women of East Africa. As the fear increased and the virus spread, I began to question: “After 10 years of waiting…NOW?”
In the initial responses of family and friends to my quest, I fought these questions and fears in my own heart and mind. Yet, He continued to confirm this call. Now is the time. In a recent such battle of the heart, He clearly directed me:
“Look at the Globe!”
I measured the distance from West Africa to East Africa. I measured the distance from Texas to Ohio, then considered how close the supposed enemy Ebola awaits. It had moved to Akron, just 2 hours away.
One thing I know for sure about Africa is that it is a continent.
There is a misperception that Africa is a country; a tendency to lump every African country into one large conglomerate. Being the 2nd largest continent with 54 countries, it takes a hard hit. When something happens “in Africa”, then suddenly no one is safe “in Africa” or going “to” Africa. A look at the globe can quickly put it into perspective. We see how ridiculous this is.
This overly assumptive thinking is rampant among Americans. We categorize everything–placing people, places, things, in broad compartments. We place a huge label on the box. It seems necessary for us to declare:
This is right/that is wrong!
This is safe/that is dangerous!
This is acceptable/that is not acceptable!
This person is worth our time, attention, and a listening ear and that person is not!
WE PUT GOD IN A BOX.
We put labels on Him which were never part of His character. We compartmentalize our lives to fit the God of our labels. This gives us permission to live as we want to live. It entitles us to treat others wrongly if they have a different lifestyle or if they don’t believe in “Our” God. We draw lines in the sand and say,
“I would never do that–never do what THOSE PEOPLE do.”
Yet, all the while we are casting our own reflection of judgment–the shadow of sin–upon those we are calling a sinner…those we are called to save. I know this, because I have done this!
2 You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil…8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2
GOD IS BIGGER!
LOOK AT THE GLOBE. Give it a spin! Consider the works of God’s hand, the masterpiece of His grace. Ask what it is He is calling you to do, where He would have you to go, who he wants to reach through you.
Thank you so much for your love and support in moving forward on this mission. I am abundantly blessed to have you as a friend!
WE ARE WOVEN!!