We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement each Sunday … and somewhere along the course of the week, often we find ourselves in need of a little bit of something to help us through.

Welcome to Extra Strength: a mid-week pick-you-up for the soul. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for extra encouragement and challenge. 

We are Church: We Alter  {Sunday, September 20, 2015 }

By Hyacynth Worth

It’s a little bit like my secret weapon, but keep this between us, ok?

I don’t know about you, but I can ask my four children myriad questions about their days — what was great? what was terrible? what just was plain old funny? — and I barely get any responses.

But I can go, on a whim, nonetheless, print out 48 questions from Momastery and stick them in a jar, thus creating The Key Jar, and we have people almost arm wrestling to pick the question out of the jar each night while we eat dinner.

I’ll admit: the questions are good. Really, really good.

But they are deep. Like, really, really deep. And while I knew our 13-year-old and eight-year-old would likely have something to say about those really, really deep questions, I wasn’t sure about our 6-year-old or our 3-year-old … and I definitely wasn’t prepared for the kind of conversations these questions would spark.

So one night last week we’re sitting around the table and my oldest son picks a doozy of a question from The Key Jar.

“What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the world today?”

The table goes silent and then my youngest son shoots up his hand and shouts: “moving an erupting volcano from one place to another!!”

We all laugh, because, you know, that’s pretty much true. That would be an enormous challenge. But the most interesting thing happens when the big kids answer: our oldest daughter says, “I think the biggest challenge is people believing in God.”

Our oldest son disagrees; “That’s not hard,” he says. He’s so black and white, and he wears his concreteness in his answers.

And then the real conversation revs up when the kids start talking about why God doesn’t just put an end to suffering and pain and hardships and humanitarian crises.

Both of the big kids grow pretty perplexed by this in only just moments, and so we begin discussing the role of people, God’s church, and how God puts His Holy Spirit in us and calls us the light of the world. 

You know — light dinner conversation, my friends.

We talk about how when things make us really angry (like people not having enough food) or when things make us sad (like disasters or humanitarian crises) that God can use that to help spur us to action.

IMG_1174At one point as we talk about the kinds of things that make us really sad the conversation turns to John and me, and we talk about how we were really, really heartbroken about children not having parents … And how God used that strong, very hard and heart-wrenching emotion to spur us to act; we talk about how God intended His people to be kind of like a love letter from God’s heart to a broken world. And how do we do that? By loving!

Truth be told, that’s all we’re really attempting here in our house. God broke our hearts so deeply for what breaks His that it spurred us toward action and movement. It made us want to be a love letter to a hurting world through our actions, our giving, our connecting and our time.

The kids leave the table pondering what breaks their hearts, and we find ourselves thinking about it, too, as we witness a world of hurt unfolding in our own home, our communities and across the globe.

Speaking of needs, they are massive and varied, aren’t they? They come in so many forms. But when we boil it all down, we need to love and be loved. God does that for each of us wholly and perfectly and it looks like forgiveness, mercy and grace, to name a few; we are lights in the darkness when we share His love and grow to be more like Him. When we love like God loves, we are like a love letter to a hurting world from the heart of God. And what does love look like? 1 Corinthians gives us a cheat sheet, if you will, and ends the chapter reminding us why it’s so important to get this love thing, right.

“Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

So let’s be the love letter that changes everything, Church.

IMG_2528

Hyacynth Worth is beloved to God, wife to John, mom to two boys and two girls and author of Undercover Mother. 

Be Challenged:  

Think and pray about how you can be a love letter from the heart of God to those who are around you.

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