Excuses…Spilled onto the Floor

Saturday, October 4

10-4By Callie Streich of Independence, Missouri, USA

“…When you are in the service of your companion beings you are only in the service of your God.”

—Mosiah 1:49, adapted

How often do we take a hard look at ourselves? It might be like going into our mind’s cellar, grabbing an old canning jar off the shelf, and beginning to pry open the rusted lid. When that proves too difficult, we put the jar back, next to all the other dusty relics. We save it for another day…when the jar is not so hard to open.

During the summer of 2002, I went to Zambia with an international volunteer program that allows young adults and adults to take part in intercultural experiences. Zambia and all of Africa has a way of finding its way into your heart and soul and setting up camp. I remember the faces, smells, sights, and sounds…all of them are now part of me.

I am lousy with directions. (My husband bought me a global positioning system and joked that if I got lost, it was now a customer-service issue, not his.) However, I can remember my village, those nearby, and how to navigate in and between them.

Of all the events in my life until then, the experiences of that summer are the most vivid. Zambia still tugs at my heart, but I was at a loss for how to reach out.

A source of recent inspiration for me is someone who devotes time to the HealthEd Connect Mentor Program. She works with orphaned children in Zambia. To bring awareness to her work and to raise money, she ran a marathon. I have never been a runner, but I decided I want to run a half marathon (because I’m only half-crazy) to raise money for this amazing program.

HealthEd Connect provides education, counseling, health education, and services that save lives in Zambia, Malawi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Nepal. My goal is to raise a specific amount of money. Even if I don’t reach my goal, every bit helps.

In my right hand, in that dank, dark cellar, I hold the jar labeled, “What do I have to offer?” In my left hand is the opened lid…excuses spilled onto the floor.

Prayer for Peace God of wisdom, help us discover in ourselves, a need to reach out to relieve suffering in the world. If we can’t run a marathon, God, help us run half a marathon for peace.

Spiritual Practice: Abolish Poverty, End Suffering Read and reflect on John 21:15–17 as a meditation. Draw your mind to places where people have no homes. Think of refugees whose homes were destroyed by war or natural disaster. Be aware of the hungry and homeless, who wander the streets or live in shelters. Let the images fill your mind. Offer a prayer for those who suffer. Imagine Christ tending those sheep. Think of ways you might end their suffering as part of your mission. Throughout the day, carry in your mind the voice of Christ saying: “Feed my lambs…tend my sheep…feed my sheep.”

Peace Covenant Today, God, I will set a goal for supporting a worthy outreach program.

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4 Comments

  1. Callie Streich

     /  5 October 2014

    Thank you for the support. I’ve completed the half marathon I spoke of in the article. You can still donate, though! Go to HealthEdConnect.org and click on the Donate Now button on the right 🙂 Thank you!!

  2. Diane Akers

     /  4 October 2014

    Great! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Norma Mercurio

     /  4 October 2014

    I can’t run a half marathon, but I can support your efforts with a donation. Please let me know how to do that!

  4. “Throughout the day, carry in your mind the voice of Christ saying: “Feed my lambs…tend my sheep…feed my sheep.””

    This last sentence of the above article rings over and over in my heart. The first time I was called to the priesthood I was driving in my care on the highway, and on the seat next to me was the lesson book for a Temple School course, “Aaronic Ministries”. I kept glancing at it repeatedly as different parts of the lessons ran through my mind. I remember thinking how beautiful it all was. About that time I heard the voice of Jesus asking me if I loved him. Like the passage from the gospel when Jesus asked Peter, I heard him ask me this three times. After the third time I said out loud “you know I do Lord”. Then he said to me, “feed my sheep”. I felt the certainty fill my mind and heart that this was my mission. Four months later I received the call from my pastor.

    The really amazing this is, the more i work at feeding his sheep, the more the sheep are feeding me!

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