Stephanie Rische

Stubbing My Toe on Grace

Do One Thing April 16, 2013

wbez4Last weekend Daniel and I volunteered to help man the booth for His Wheels International at WBEZ’s sixth annual Global Activism Expo.


Seizing a few moments of downtime, I walked around the huge convention room and scoped out almost 100 organizations that are committed to assisting developing countries around the world—from Congo to Haiti to Afghanistan.


As I wove my way through the booths, I heard story after heartbreaking story of poverty and malnourishment, of mothers who died from simple birthing complications, of children whose lives were cut short because they lacked clean water, of people who hiked for days to reach the nearest hospital, with no guarantee that once they got there they’d get the care they needed.


I was barely halfway around the room before I found myself going into overload mode. So many needs. So many good causes. So many worthy organizations. Where to begin?


After lunch, as I made my way through the room a second time, I was struck by something I hadn’t noticed the first time around. The handmade wares that were being sold, crafted by individuals from various poverty-stricken areas, all had a common thread: resourcefulness.


I saw…

  • purses made by Cambodian women out of leftover fish nets
  • medical supplies donated by hospitals that otherwise would dump them into landfills
  • solar-powered ovens fueled by the sun and “paper charcoal” (basically bricks of recycled newspaper)
  • scarves made from material scraps, woven together in beautiful rainbows of color


These people didn’t have much, but they were creative with what they had in excess.


It struck me that although I’m just an average person in an average community, these artisans would think I’m sitting on a goldmine. How many resources do I have right under my nose that I don’t even consider resources, if I notice them at all?


When I look through the eyes of resourcefulness, though, I can see that I’ve been given much by a much-giving God. And he charges me to share the much I have.


When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.

—Luke 12:48


That sounded good, but as I looked around the room, I felt kind of panicky. Where, oh where, to begin? Then this thought hit me with all the force of a dodgeball to the gut: I don’t have to do everything, but I can do one thing.


So perhaps the place for me to begin is the same place as these whose handiwork I was admiring: What do I have in excess? wbez2


And now I pose the same question to you: What has God given generously to you? An excess of time? Creative ideas? Business savvy? Technical skills? Money? Extra rooms in your house? Love?


Don’t try to do everything. But do one thing.


{Not sure where to start? Here are some organizations my husband and I support that you might want to check out.}

Casa Viva

Medical Teams International


Women at Risk

World Vision

His Wheels International