. . . and then some more . . . More life. More Jesus.

God’s Kind of Beautiful and a Free E-book You Simply Must Read

I have always been uncomfortable around needy people. At least around the people I define as needy.

Like the lady I passed in Paris every time I went with my kids to the post office. She sat outside in her black covering and held a picture of a baby, telling people about her daughter and asking could they help.

And the man with no legs who would sit propped up against the wall with a bowl for donated coins and a look of I-hate-that-I’m-here despondence.

Or the lady outside Walmart holding the sign that tells me she needs food. And the man standing there two days later. He lost his job and his house and his pride.

And then there’s the man who approached me on my way home the other day in the middle of the marketplace. He held papers in his hand that looked like brochures. I made the mistake of smiling at him, so he handed me a paper which said something like I have a daughter and a wife and I need food. Can you please buy me some?

Uncomfortable.

The little Christmas Dorf stood about 40 feet away from us where crepes and bratwurst and Gluhwein abound. I only had a few Euro coins in my bag, ones for which I had been considering a different assignment. Like maybe flowers for the dinner table. Or Lebkuchen for the family.

So I told him I had nothing.

My heart beats shamefully fast even now as I recall those moments of uncomfortable dishonesty. Shameful.

I walked home without stopping for the previously considered items. Walked home wondering if I had just denied Jesus a crepe. And how could I have done that?

I thought my heart had been changed a few weeks back. Changed for the way I would deal with uncomfortable need. I had believed that, because God had been working in my heart to show me His kind of beautiful, I had arrived at the end and would suddenly be privy to all kinds of how-to-love-homeless-and-needy people.

I guess I was wrong.

Not wrong about God’s working. No doubt He is. But wrong that I had arrived.

You see, I read this book a few months ago by Jeff Goins. And it got me thinking about letting God wreck me for the things I don’t want to see or interact with. Like homeless beggars without legs. And foreign men with copies of a letter describing their need and could I please help?

And then I read another book.

Graffiti: Scribbles From Different Sides of the Street by Alene Snodgrass. It was the perfect follow-up for the wrecking God had begun. The finding my way in the midst of uncomfortable need in this world. The kind of need you find on the streets in the middle of homeless communities and inner city projects.

It’s a book about finding the uncomfortable and then asking God what He wants me to do inside of it.

It’s about looking for the beautiful inside of what I deem, well, not at all pretty. And asking God how I might help make it even more His kind of beautiful.

It kind of rocked my world. Or at least the way I think about my world.

God has been using it to transform the way I look at things that I used to deem ugly.

The e-book releases officially next Monday (November 26) for $3.99. But right now you can get it for free! It’s only 44 short pages, and well worth every minute you will spend reading it.

Especially as Christmas time hits and the greed of consumerism threatens to turn God-come-to-earth into how-much-stuff-can-I-get.

It’s the perfect way to enter Quiet Christmas. Offering God your heart and asking what He might want you to change to help make a difference.

Because, as Alene so beautifully points out, different is beautiful. And, really, the only way to make a difference is to be different ourselves.

4 Thoughts on “God’s Kind of Beautiful and a Free E-book You Simply Must Read

  1. Love this line: it’s the perfect way to enter Quiet Christmas.

    Indeed!

  2. Thanks for the link to the book!

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