Breaking the Silence … India Reflections

Just before Thanksgiving I had the privilege of being one of eleven women traveling to India with the organization Mission India. What would compel a bunch of women to fly to the other side of the world right before the most wonderful time of the year?

As I ponder and process and attempt to put into words my feelings and experience in India, I am surprised by the word that comes to me; silence.

Traveling to India was about the silencing of women, children and the impoverished by illiteracy. It was about the silencing of those following the Living God by intimidation and death. It was about the silencing of beauty and dignity by emptiness and oppression.

I went to India to help break the silence. I went to listen and observe the transformative effects of education and literacy on a person’s life; education bringing hope and empowerment not only to an individual but to a family and community. I went to feel the heart cry of fellow human beings to be seen, heard and touched; to embrace, cup precious faces and lay hands to impart Love. I went to stand with brothers and sisters in the flames of fire; to breathe and blow fresh Wind that refreshes, encourages and strengthens the heart to stay the course. I went to break the silence.

As I listen and observe, feel and stand an interesting thing happened. As I engage with others I hear a voice telling me to be quiet. I hear a voice attempting to silence and isolate me, spouting all sorts of lies and half truths in an attempt to keep me from connecting with those I came to see. But as I press in to hear the heart of the one in front of me, I see the face of one pressing in to hear my heart as well. And in this, the foe that seeks to silence me can’t help but be silenced. Because Love is greater and when we seek to understand another’s heart He is magnified and the truth illuminated and given voice.

And for me this truth is affirmed, that although culturally we may be a world apart, in matters of the heart we are all very much the same; the desire for families to be whole, for babies to be conceived, for physical and spiritual healing and protection, for the freedom to dream and the ability to work to see those dreams become a reality. The truth breaks the silence and reminds that we are all part of humanity and this connects our hearts not only to one another but to the Creator of us all.

And one more truth speaks; that we don’t have to travel far to find those living silenced. It can be as close as our city, the house next-door or the face of the one looking back at us in the mirror.

May we be empowered in the name of the One who always hears our heart and who broke the chains of division, the name above all names, the mighty name of Jesus, to live in such a way that no matter where we go or who stands before us, we hear the heart and break the silence.

Unhindered…live the masterpiece!


Love this picture. It speaks of an incredible legacy of hope and empowerment this adult literacy student is passing down to her daughter.



Such a contrast to me. In the midst of the dirt and foul smell of roaming animals are vibrant colors and smell of spices and oils.







I Coulda Been a Contender

Boxing great Muhammad Ali died last week. His death reminded me how, as a young girl, I loved to watch boxing matches. I am not sure what about boxing I enjoyed so much. As an adult I can’t seem to stomach it.

Perhaps the idea of vieing for the ultimate title of Champion of the World was appealing. I did like the whole idea of winning and being the center of attention. Or perhaps it was the way the opponents would pound one another and somehow withstand the blows. They would knock each other senseless and after a brief respite between rounds bounce back ready to go again.

Something within me responded positively to this battle, this ability of a human being to fight on when most dare not even get into the ring. I think the fierce tenacity of these boxers inspired me. They were contenders; warriors battling in the physical for the ultimate prize. What a visual of one thing we all have needed to do at some point in our lives; contend.

I don’t often hear or use the word contend. Maybe the words, argue, battle, struggle or fight get better play these days. But I like the word contend because sometimes life can feel like a boxing match. We hit and get hit. We battle back only to get hit again. We are contenders, often contending for relationships, health, faith, justice, love, truth or peace of mind.

So, what are you contending for today?

You may feel like you have suffered a blow you can’t recover from. Life is difficult and you may be exhausted. But the good news is, unlike boxing, you do not need to be in the ring alone. The World Champion has our back and is contending for us. And what’s more, when we align ourselves with Him, He contends with us. We can battle and fight on because of Him.

So, contend dear one.  Contend!

Unhindered…live the masterpiece!

“Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit says the LORD.” Zechariah 4:6


Surrendering Understanding

Who? What? When? Where? How? Why? These are the questions that spark discovery and understanding. They illuminate and bring clarity and order to our world. This is the vocabulary of dreamers, inventors, explorers, indeed of anyone who desires progress and advancement in life. The need for answers is wonderful. Being curious and inquisitive about the beautiful and the ugly has led to incredible findings and progress in all areas of life. The world would be stagnant without them.

But what happens when the need and pursuit for answers and understanding outweighs the desire for all else?

Why did it happen? Why is it happening? Life has taken on a form that doesn’t make sense. The mind tries to comprehend but is unable. There is beauty and there is ugly it can not understand. But it continues to try. Again and again it questions, always seeking answers that never satisfy.

Surrender. What if the answer is surrender?

There are some things in life we are not going to understand. It is in these times we have a choice. We can either continue our quest for an understanding that we like and feels good to us, or we can surrender our need to lean on our own understanding. We can either wander further into the territory of believing that we have the capacity to know all things or we can accept that we are not the Creator but His beautiful intricate creation. We can be prideful or humble. We can continue to take a bite of the apple or toss the apple aside.

How do we know when it may be time to surrender understanding? A life that constantly asks ‘why’ over the same issue without the budding of joy, gratefulness and peace is a good indication. Feeling distant or cut off from Love could be another.

We will never understand everything that happens in life. This isn’t how we are created. We are, however, created for a relationship with the Creator. It is in this love relationship and in His understanding that all the who, what, when, where, how and why find there proper place. It is in this relationship, surrendering understanding, that we live by faith!


Unhindered…life the masterpiece!