Now that I’m a seasoned blogger with eight whole posts under my belt (insert sarcasm font here), I thought it was time to enter into a writing contest. Seems like a natural progression, right? I really don’t care too much about the competitive side of this exercise, but instead was excited about the challenge of writing an Open Letter to the World.
Remember that time that I promised that I’d be one of The Ones? You know, The Ones that would make a difference? The Ones that leave a mark? The Ones that make you, The World, better? You know me: the best of intentions, but the shortest of attentions.
But my family has changed. I have three kids now. Each one beautiful and quirky in his and her own ways. They have dreams that need to be fostered. They have talents that need to be cultivated. They have spirits that need direction.
Times have changed. We no longer live in a world where being a good citizen, showing respect, and loving God is enough. You World, need more intentionality than that. Being a passively good person won’t cut it anymore. You require more of me than you used to.
I have changed. No longer is the young woman who could plead youth and ignorance. She has been replaced by a woman with experience IN you, World, and, ashamedly, OF you. I have seen poverty while living in India that made it hard to breathe. A burden of mourning and sadness fill the streets of Sarajevo. Two cities with two vastly different histories, people, cultures, and yet both have left scars on my heart that can no longer be hidden. And those are just two of your cities, World. Two. My conclusion: I know better, so I must be better.
I hear you calling me, World. I can no longer sit idly by as you plead for me, and others just like me; those of us with first world problems will no longer use our voices for complaints, but rather action. Am I likely to be an ambassador for human rights that is interviewed by the likes of Anderson Cooper? Probably not. Will a building be named after me for bringing awareness to a cause that changed the world? I doubt it. So what can I do, World?
On the surface, I don’t have much to offer. I’m not rich. My skills and talents might bring me joy, but aren’t worth a lot on paper. My greatest achievements are peacefully sleeping upstairs as I write this letter to you. But they are just babies. New to you. They are just blank slates, without prejudice, bias, or experiences. They are blank slates. Blank. Slates.
I offer to you my children. I resolve to raise children who are not so busy living IN you that they forget that they are part OF you. I won’t toughen them up so they can withstand the storms of life. I will teach them, no show them, that they can have spirits that calm storms. I will make it my life’s mission to show them that they ARE ambassadors of goodwill, not only worthy of being interviewed by Anderson Cooper, but worthy of being called sons and daughters of a loving, living God. I will give them life altering experiences and force them out of their comfort zones. Show them simultaneously the utter despair of abject poverty and the brilliance of selfless love. I will allow them to struggle so they value effort. I will love them unconditionally, so they will always know the feeling and can mirror it to others. I won’t allow them the excuse of not knowing better.
They are yours. But know this, World. I am not me without them. So if you want them, you’ve got me too. And I’m not me, without my God. That’s right, you get Him too. One big, happy family. See you at the reunion