Even a Priest’s wife is not perfect and has to do confessions. Here are some of mine:
When I was in high school, I remember being embarrassed to walk around in public when there was a Coptic Orthodox priest with us. A priest came to my high school graduation and I was so embarrassed! I hated other people’s stares at this “unusual” person wearing a black robe and with a beard.
God has a funny sense of humor because now I am married to a priest! I have to walk around in public with him whether I like it or not. Although I do tell him that when we travel in the airport that the kids and I will go in a separate security line so we go through security a lot easier!
Another confession I must say is that when we are on vacation, I often tell my husband to ditch the robe and go in “normal” clothes. Every time, I do this, God again shows me his funny sense of humor. Many times, because of the robe, random people will stop him and ask for prayers. One lady we ran into once had just found out she had cancer and she wanted his prayers. Others need the encouragement of a man of God and his wisdom and love. I can write an entire book of the beautiful conversations we have had with so many people all over the world. From the Uber driver to the security officer at a hotel to people at a restaurant, they are looking for God’s love. They are encouraged with messages that God is giving them through us. Or they are searching and seeking.
Why would I encourage my husband to hide this gift of God from others?
My husband says he is blessed because he can stand out in a crowd. He does not shy away from the stares but confidently uses it to his advantage to share the love of God. Fr. Michael Sorial, a good friend of ours, recently made a vlog to discuss how he stands out and challenges us to stand out in the crowd too!
We have this same gift. We may not all be wearing a black robe and have a beard, but we should all stand out in a crowd. We have a special treasure of God’s love and should be able to use that to open discussions with others about this love. From my experience, people desire to hear it. Imagine the lives we could have missed because of my fears or limitations.
As we start the blessed fast of Great Lent, there are three characteristics that define this fast: Prayer, Fasting, and Giving.
Giving is not limited to my money only. It is giving the precious gift of my love, time, grace, and talents for the salvation of others. Using this gift so others may know who Christ is.
We see people caught up in their own lives. Headphones are getting bigger to make sure we cancel the noise around us when we travel or commute to work. Internet is getting faster so we can spend more time on social media and watch YouTube videos. Everything is getting less and less personal around us.
We have the gift of a personal God. A relational God who wants to love others personally and deeply. We have it. We should share it.
I remember when I first decided to truly commit my life and my gifts to the service of God. One parable that Christ our Savior said really stood out to me over and over. The parable in Matthew 25:14-30, where a man gives talents to three servants. Two of the servants gain more than what they receive. But one servant buries his treasure, afraid to multiply it. I used to feel like that one servant. I was given a treasure but I buried it in my fears, selfishness and self-absorbed life.
My prayer this Lent is that we are like the servants who were given the treasure and they went out and made more treasures.
There are many things that stop me and stop us from giving. Maybe I limit myself by my lack of knowledge, language, fears, rejections, perceptions of myself and my past life, and my insecurities. What limits you?
One of my son’s favorite movie is Evan Almighty. After the main character, Evan, faces a lot of ridicule from his family, neighbors, co-workers, and more for following God’s call, a news reporter asks him, “what makes you so sure that God chose you?” Evan’s response, “God chose all of us.”
God calls all of us, not just the ones who are ordained as a priest. We all carry His gift and treasure. Now it is up to you to respond to that call and share that gift. So others may know Him and His love.
As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 1 Peter 4:10
Naturally, when you have a relationship with God, you will want to share your gifts with others. Maybe God has gifted you with song, medicine, teaching, writing, fitness, hospitality, or many more things. Use those gifts to serve God and show others God’s love. Don’t be afraid to use your gifts.
Put aside the things that limit you, pray and fast for them during this time of Lent. And give. Give the gift of His love to others by using your gifts.
Mission Assignment: Pray and Fast during this time of Lent for what ways you will share the gift that God has given you. What gifts do you have and in what ways will you share them?
Tags: be different, Calling, chosen, confessions, fasting, fears, gifts, giving, Lent, limitations, prayer, selfishness, stand out