Our work as God's servants gets validated - or not - in the details. People are watching us as we stay at our post, alertly, unswervingly . . . in hard times, tough times, bad times;
when we're beaten up, jailed, and mobbed; working hard, working late, working without eating;
with pure heart, clear head, steady hand; in gentleness, holiness, and honest love;
when we're telling the truth, and when God's showing his power; when we're doing our best setting things right;
when we're praised, and when we're blamed; slandered, and honored; true to our word, though distrusted;
ignored by the world, but recognized by God; terrifically alive, though rumored to be dead; beaten within an inch of our lives, but refusing to die;
immersed in tears, yet always filled with deep joy; living on handouts, yet enriching many; having nothing, having it all.
Dear, dear Corinthians, I can't tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life.
We didn't fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren't small, but you're living them in a small way.
I'm speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!