IT makes sense
IT has been about 25 years since that dark night of my soul. Is it any wonder why a major theme of my writing and speaking ministry has to do with recovering from heartache?
Occasionally, a total stranger would email me. The names and the words differ, but the anguish is all too familiar. I empathize with the sender who was left with shards of what once beckoned as True Love. When asked, I would share some thoughtful counsel. But always, I encourage him or her to use the pain to move towards God, not away from Him. Each time, I pray that the sender will become so utterly satisfied with God that when Mr. or Ms. Right comes along, that will be but a bonus.
Was it a bother for me to do all that? Not on your life. A friend did it to me. Now in that exchange across cyberspace, I was being a friend to that sender. I can do it all day. Thanks to a goodness that was done unto me, I have found one of my advocacies.
Based on what evil happened to you. There are two basic ways to process the grief and fury arising from a tragedy or crime against you. The first is to lash out destructively. You may have watched one of those movies where the victim of a crime becomes a vigilante and kills off the evildoers. The second is to redeem the injustice by laboring it won’t happen again or to anyone else.
On May 3, 1980, a 13-year-old girl named Cari Lightner was killed by a drunken driver in California. The 46-year-old driver, who had recently been arrested for another DUI hit-and-run, left Cari’s body at the scene. That led the mother, Candace Lightner, to establish Mothers Against Drunk Driving or MADD for short. MADD grew as a nonprofit organization in the United States and Canada that seeks to stop drunk driving, support those affected by drunk driving, prevent underage drinking, and strive for stricter impaired driving policy, whether that impairment is caused by alcohol or any other drug. MADD has shown that drunk driving has been reduced by half since its founding.
Spotting what is bad is a no-brainer. Looking for solutions is the challenge. Thus, if the first two ways to discover your advocacy has not yet rang any bells, try this exercise. “What was done to you that almost always elicit an impassioned response from you?” I can name a few painful memories that would tempt me to rain curses on certain people. But those painful memories can also galvanize me to help create environments where no one else can have similar hurts. It may involve changing a dysfunctional culture (corporate, church, family), enhancing mutual understanding or empowering the marginalized.
Conclusion. There is a beautiful concept in Acts 13:36 where we read that David served God’s purpose in his generation. How do we find our purpose in our own epoch? We start with the hot buttons that, when pressed under certain circumstances, will cause us to lose some semblance of polite civility and start acting like Heaven’s Answer to Inhumanity. Search your life for moments where a topic (1) touched a raw nerve, (2) made you reach out to someone or (3) made you wish someone will do something. Chances are, that is your life’s work. More importantly, it may be the reason why God designed you as you are and planted you where you are now.