You sign up for the school trip to the museum, or you sign up for the community gathering on the 23rd. But what does it really mean to step up? There has been a few times in my life where I’ve felt like “This isn’t quite what I signed up for.”
I went to Liberia for the second time in January 2018. I remember going both times to Liberia with a team of people who in the spectrum of finances in America were doing quite alright. We walked to a rehab community one day, a community in despair of disease. My mind, heart, and eyes weren’t all connecting the experience as it was happening. Humans without limbs, without sight, without quality of life…. still praising Jesus. Still giving joyful noises to the life they live. We arrived in a shop in this rehab community. Greeted by a few people making baskets, wood carvings, and jewelry. In that exact moment, I knew.
Almost every day a few boys would gather some art pieces and wait for us Americans to come outside and look. Proud and eager to show us their work and all that they’ve done with the natural and recycled materials they have. I spent a day with my friend Prince, an Artisan from the Rehab Community. He showed me his every day life and he showed me his home. Prince explained to me that only visiting Americans purchase their arts…. and that many Americans don’t visit let alone purchase. In that exact moment, I knew.
One of my team members mentioned to me that they, “have enough baskets and wood carvings”. But what they didn’t understand is what those baskets and wood carvings
represent. Instead of our everyday GoFundMe page or our bake sale or the change bucket at grocery store, these young boys are entrepreneurs who aren’t beggars. Giving you the opportunity to see their beautiful work and also provide for themselves with dignity. In that exact moment, I knew.
While I signed up to go to Liberia, I didn’t expect for my heart to be pulled so hard into the bigger realm of life. But thats where the real moment of truth came in. My eyes and heart were opened to step up. Although I was not the richest, the smartest, or the most able…. I was faced with an opportunity to step up. This is when ButterPear was born, a place for Liberian Artisans and designers to share their craft to create a revenue that will then be given back to educate their children.
There always seems to come a time in life where we can say no. Because there is always the level to which we “signed up for”. But if those only did what they signed up for, we’d miss out on so many opportunities in life to make a difference in someone else's life but also in our own. To seek understanding and have the faith to step up abolishes all walls and boxes our human mindsets have restricted us to.
So today, are you going to just sign up? Or are you going to step up?