A Testimony You Won't Want To Miss
by Tiffany Garrett
He was wearing a plain black t-shirt, faded, that read only one word, "expendable." When I saw the word I thought of how many people I had met that the American Public would label with this word. Expendable. To me they now have names, faces, and stories. To me they have become a part of my life and they are not expendable. Being a Young Lion this summer has shown me how I want my life to be, what I want my life to mean and who I want to serve. There is no experience that could have better shown me how I can use my freshly obtained college degree, in education, to a fuller extent, and that my time in college was preparing me for more than a career life. I have seen the importance of faith, the value of relationships and the truth that souls are not expendable.
I met a homeless man a year ago who played drums under a doorway downtown for tips every night. He said that he was going to have a record deal very soon. I saw him and talked to him again a few weeks ago and he is still playing drums under the same doorway, still homeless, still going to have a record deal very soon. He was wearing a plain black t-shirt, faded, that read only one word, "expendable." When I saw the word I thought of how many people I had met that the American Public would label with this word. Expendable. To me they now have names, faces, and stories. To me they have become a part of my life and they are not expendable. One of these "expendable" is a woman who just found out that she had contracted HIV, one is a man who calls himself "street trash," one is a man who fell in love with me because I actually talked to him, one is a little girl whose mom got dragged off by the police right in front of her eyes. I have seen the harvest field this summer and it is ripe, but where are the harvesters?
As I look at the "expendable" God has really challenged my view of myself as a harvester. I know that I hang out with harvesters. I talk like a harvester. I know a lot about the harvest but in reality most of my life has been spent hanging out and kicking back with the harvesters while the ripe harvest stands in front of me rotting.
Time after time I am astonished at how I have sat back and forgotten the point of Christianity, to spread the Good News to all people! After sharing my life with the "expendable" I see more clearly than ever that the time is too short to just hang out and not participate in the harvest of the kingdom of God. To do this I have to get out in the field, get over my fear of rejection, and realize that God has done all of the growing. All I have to do is go out there and harvest what He has grown. I can do that by just getting into people's lives and being a normal relational human being.
Relationships are the functional unit of the kingdom of God. Just as chemical bonds are the functional unit of chemistry, without them there would be no interaction of chemicals like hydrogen and oxygen to make water. In the kingdom there would be no relationship with God or no Church if there were no relationships. I used to think that prayer and devotional time were this functional part of the kingdom, but they can really only be a foundation for pure relationships both to God and our brothers and sisters. Prayer and devotions are the power of God working in us and leading us, but relationships are where the action is. I have been very convicted at how I used to think I could affect the kingdom of God without really participating in the kingdom of God. Prayer and devotions are only the beginning; relationships are where we practice faith. Without faith I know I limit myself to what I personally can do. I take away the impossible options that God wants me to accomplish through Him. He wants to do great things with His Spirit. And I limit Him with my weak flesh. If God enjoys my faith why am I so scared to walk in it? God desires that I know Him (Hosea 6:6) and if I know Him then I will know the power He has given to me as His daughter. If I only think that God can work through me in the ways He's worked before or ways that are my personal strengths then I am not living by faith but by my own flesh.
I want to live in the realities of Heaven. I want to live a life of extreme faith knowing God's promises and obeying Him because I know I can stake my life on His word.
My faith has been strengthened this summer by the examples of faithful men and women. I want that faith to continue to grow because I want to live my life for the kingdom of God as an effective harvester. I want to be a true harvester through my relationships with people and my ability to listen to God because lives are not expendable- not the suburban dad in Brentwood, not the Christian music singer on drugs, not the kids of Jo Jo, not the homeless man on the street, and not you or I. God has great blessings and exploits planned for all of us if we will only turn to Him. I want my life to be spent as a bondservant of Christ. I know He is a good master and that He has the best for me and I choose to serve.