Oddly enough, I found this chapter the most encouraging so far in the book. Something is changing, and the something is primarily within Katie. The slightly condescending tone which had accompanied much of her attitude towards her home country (and, by extension, her family and friends) is disappearing. A maturing process is underway, and Katie is coming to understand her place, and her calling, within both societies.
We are all witnesses, and we are all missionaries, whether it’s an Ugandan village or a Fortune 500 company. The spiritual needs are the same. One is not a “holier” calling than the other; one is not “more sacred.” It is all God’s work, and wherever we are working, that’s our mission field.
This is the underlying idea for The High Calling, where I’m a contributing editor and part of the social media tweet (I’d like to have a bumper sticker that reads “I tweet for THC”). The “high calling” of the name is the high calling of our daily work, wherever and whatever that work is, because all work is a high calling. If we’re working in a hospital, a company, a government office, as an independent contractor or in a missionary outpost, God sees all of us as engaged in a high calling.
In other words, we don’t park our faith at the office door. It doesn’t mean we actively evangelize and pass our tracts; it does mean that we live our work so that people see Christ in us.
It’s no secret that many, perhaps most Christians see pastors and missionaries as doing work that is “higher” than what the rest of us do. Both of those callings requires sacrifices, and likely greater sacrifices than what most of us are familiar with. But that doesn’t mean they’re “higher.”
This separation into sacred and secular is actually a product of modernism – the same impulse and thought that became “separation of church and state” (which a lot of people really define as “elimination of any possible influence of the church in society.” The difference for us is that this belief in sacred and secular separates our very selves. We have a sacred self (the Christian, church-going, mission-minded part) and we have a secular self (work, school, culture, and anything “non-church”). It’s a false dichotomy, more akin to Greek philosophy and some of the famous heresies that stalked and almost destroyed the early church.
Katie is learning an important lesson: we are to do what we are called by God to do wherever he plants us. And if He plants you in an Ugandan village, it may mean that economic and basic health needs are greater than the society you left behind, but the spiritual needs are the same.
Jason Stasyszen and Sarah Salter have been leading us in a discussion of Kisses from Katie. To see more posts on this chapter, please visit Jason’s site, Connecting to Impact.