My Wake-Up Call

Feb 12, 2016

Beth Guckenberger

Last year, I was visiting Back2Back’s ministry site in Haiti. While I was there, I knew I was balancing many agendas (to encourage the staff, to engage the team I traveled with, helping with a project). I honestly almost forgot the real reason I was there was to love kids.

That can happen to me – I can be so busy talking about Jesus, I forget to talk to Jesus. I can be so busy doing all kinds of good works, I become oblivious to what God is doing around me, and most certainly, in me.

Kimberly was my wake-up call on this particular afternoon. She was not interested in our activities, she wasn’t impressed with our snacks and didn’t want to play the games. I could have reacted to her rejection and pulled away before anyone noticed. However, I have been learning lately leadership means not always taking the lead, sometimes it means coming from behind.

That afternoon, I hung back and hung out. I decided to go all out on a love offensive with her. I used affection, words of affirmation, service. I brought her water, stroked her arm, and sang to her. I gave her small gifts of crafts I did beside her, and after hours of quality time, she broke. It was a small lopsided smile at first, then a giggle at my bad French singing, then a hand that slowly slid into mine. Before our afternoon was up, we were hanging on each other and laughing and love won.  I ended up enjoying my afternoon with Kimberly more than I did the whole rest of my time on the island.

You can’t go wrong when you love others. When you add up everything in the law code, the sum total is love. But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. Romans 13: 10-11 (The Message)

 

Beth is an author, speaker and mom. She and her husband, Todd, serve as Co-Executive Directors of Back2Back Ministries. Beth frequently travels and speaks at conferences drawing on her vast experiences with adoption, foster care, spiritual care, and non-profit leadership, serving and living internationally for over 15 years. Between biological, foster, and adopted children, Beth and Todd have raised ten children.

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