Susan Badeau

There are only two lasting gifts we can give our children - one is roots, the other is wings

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Stand Up and Speak Up, part II from Esther

Posted by Sue Badeau on October 10, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Stand Up and Speak Up – part II

 

Last week, I wrote about how Esther’s recognition of “her people’s” suffering moved her to refuse to be silent – to step up and speak up on their behalf. I urged us all to do the same, and promised to come back this week to discuss the question of “Who are “our people”?”


So, let’s reflect on this question – who are “our people” – the ones whose suffering is great enough to spur us to step up and speak up? Over the years, God has particularly brought three kinds of people into my life and they have become “my people” – men and women who are homeless, persons with disabilities of all kinds and children with no or shattered connections to lifelong families.


Hector and I met some of these people when we were first married and owned a Christian bookstore. Homeless men like Gene who stayed on the couch in our small apartment when he had nowhere else to go. Men with mental illnesses like Carl and Skibi, who came and had a cup of coffee in our store and shared Thanksgiving dinner with our family.

 

Then came teens in foster care – Frieda and Lisa, Chuck and Parrish, Billy and Larry. As time went on, whether it was our own children with disabilities like Adam, Wayne and Dylan, or the children and families I worked with in child welfare or the youth group or homeless men and women Hector works with today, “these people” have become “our people”.


And we have seen their pain. We have seen that in our society and in our world they are in danger of being destroyed and annihilated – if not physically, then emotionally and spiritually – through the policies and prejudices that are deeply embedded in our culture and only getting worse for “our people.” We know that we have to step up and speak up.


We have to step up and speak up first in our prayers – we have to be bold enough to overcome our awkwardness in prayer and approach the throne of Grace – and truly believe that just as the Persian King wanted to give Esther “anything she asked for” – “even half of the kingdom” –so much more so does our God desire to give us all that our heart desires when we approach his throne in the same way Esther did – out of our own brokenness, being bold to step up and speak up on behalf of others.

 

Not seeing God as the great dispenser of winning lottery tickets to shower us with material things to make our lives easier or more fun – but seeing him as the one willing to give good gifts – even his entire kingdom – to our people if we will approach his throne boldly on their behalf. Being bold, being brave and even willing to break a few rules and protocols if that is what it takes to step up and speak up – to INTERCEDE.


Esther’s pleadings succeeded, her people were restored. Their lives were saved.


Ask God to show you who are His People that he wants you to make your own people. Who are the people in your life circle, in your community, in your global awareness who are suffering? Are they on the brink of worse suffering?

 

Make your life a prayer for them. USE your access to the throne on their behalf.

 

Step up.

 

Speak up.

Don’t be shy. Don’t be silent.

 

Dear God, help us to recognize the homeless, the orphan, the disconnected youth, the disabled, the addict, the mentally ill as not only “your people” but as “our people” and help us to be like Esther and boldly approach your throne on their behalf, trusting that by making our very lives a prayer to you, you will, in turn, use our prayers – our individual prayers and our collective prayers as a community of faith – and turn our prayers into actions which will accomplish healing and restoration in the lives of your people, our people, our very own people. Amen.

Categories: Hope for the Journey - Devotional Reflections

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3 Comments

Reply Carol Weeks
3:05 PM on October 10, 2012 
Good post, Sue. I had never really thought about who "my people" might be. I'll be giving this some prayer time. Thanks for sharing...
Reply Glenda Mills
11:07 AM on October 11, 2012 
Dear Sue,
Thank you for challenging us as people of God to stand up and speak up for "His People". Next week our church is hosting a food give-away and breakfast for the poor in our area. May God use me to serve and share in this event. May He give us all boldness to embrace whoever "His people" are where He has placed us.
Reply Danie Marie
8:20 PM on October 11, 2012 
Great post Sue. I hadn't thought of those I minister to as "my people", but I think mine are men and women, mostly women, who are on the brink of despare, hurting or lonely. Those who need encouragement, or need to hear that Jesus loves them. Thanks for sharing your heart with us lovely lady.