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Outside the Gate

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The world right now feels a bit like an eggshell, like that thin film that coats the inside of the broken egg is all that’s holding people together. I don’t know what the big answers are. I don’t even know what the right words to say are.

Last week in the middle of all the election cacophony when my head thrummed with a thousand questions about what all this would mean for our daughter, for the visa she will need to enter the U.S., for the harsh rhetoric surrounding immigrants, I was reading Ann Voskamp’s The Broken Way. Ann shared a story about Gordon, a man without a home that Ann’s brother brings to her house asking her if this man can stay with Ann and her family for a little while.

You are where you are for such a time as this. Not to gain anything, but to risk everything. Gordon doesn’t need me to beckon more than once and he’s in the cool of the house, yanking off those boots. I’m in the kitchen finding a cup. My brother’s standing in the doorway, waiting to see whatever’s coming. The water streams from the faucet like it can’t wait to give itself away and I hold out all our cups for the filling.

I turn, hand Gordon his, one to my brother, and I swallow my own right down. We’re all more than a bit parched.

We could all be the ones outside the gate. We all could have been Gordon, fallen on hard times into hard ways; we could have been the ones fighting the Lord’s Resistance Army slitting our child’s throat in the middle of the night; we could be the one born into a slum, violently raped and left for dead, the one born into AIDS, into starvation, into lives of Christless desperation. The reason you are inside the gate for such a time as this–is to risk your life for those outside the gate. 

The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp, emphasis mine

For such a time as this . . . I don’t have answers or even decent words right now. But I have this life–this one life I can risk for those outside the gate.

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