I’m in Lusaka, Zambia.  It is 97 degrees and instead of red leaves falling off  the trees there are flamboyant red flowers. photo-9

We were checked for Ebola at the airport (even though it is nowhere near).  photo-10

And I ate fried caterpillars.


And this morning I preached at a church in a slum that is vibrant with praise, singing and dancing.

Sound exciting and exotic?  Well maybe, but…

We hear about people going around the world to serve God and it sounds soooo much more interesting than our hum drum life at home, and we may even be a little jealous for the adventure.

There’s the temptation to compare (that ugly disease) and feel like “this other person’s job is more important than mine.”

But you know what?

The magnificent and the mundane co-mingle wherever you are.

Whether we are in Lusaka or Littleton or Lubbock, we’re prone to question, “This little thing I’m doing…Does it matter? Is God using me at all?”

I am thankful to be doing some preaching and teaching here, but that’s a small portion of the time.  The rest of the time there are lines to wait in, and errands to run, and people to meet, and stories to listen to just like anywhere.

Wherever we are I believe it’s the same ordinary things that make a difference when infused with the holy hum of the Spirit.

We show up with our whole messy, willing selves.

We ask, “What does love require of me?”

We pay attention.

We raise our hand and say “I can help.”

We affirm that person who is discouraged and left out, to remind them they are beautiful and brave.

We thank the people no one notices – the woman who spends her day cleaning the bathrooms, and the waitress with a load of dirty dishes.

And we pray for those who are lonely and brokenhearted so they’ll know they are seen and they matter.

Are you tempted to believe that big dramatic adventures are more important than the everyday grace you may extend?