The Sandpaper Sofa #1

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A while ago, I read a tweet from @xianity that quipped, "Desiring God introduces the 'Don't Waste Your Life' sandpaper recliner."

Seriously, where can I buy one?

I've been reclining too much, physically and spiritually. I've burrowed so deep into my comfort zone that I've lost sight of the opportunities that lie just beyond it. So I'm going to start taking note of the things that inspire me, stretch me, or call my ways of thinking and acting into question, and I'll share them here once a month. To paraphrase from @xianity, this is going to be my sandpaper sofa: a collection of things that force me away from the comforts of complacency and familiarity. Feel free to comment with your own challenging things, or grab the banner and join in on your blog; if this gathers some steam, I'll turn it into a blog carnival (let me know if you'd be interested in that!). Here goes...

1. Robertson McQuilkin's inspiring speech of resignation from his presidency over Columbia Bible College in order to care full-time for his wife, an Alzheimer's sufferer. (Via Justin Taylor)


What a beautiful example of devotion. The word spent comes to mind... I want my life to be spent like this. Offered entirely to God, poured out fully for his children.

2. Jon Acuff's blog post on grace spots.

It made me realize that there are some moments in life where people aren’t getting any grace. There are some places where people aren’t being shown any kindness, ever. There are some times in the day where people aren’t getting any love. And although I might like to think I am graceful in those situations, I’m not.

But what if showing grace to someone was like anything else in life, you had to be deliberate? What if I could consciously pick ahead of time “Grace Spots” where no matter what, I was going to do my best to throw out wild amounts of grace? Would that change somebody’s day? Would that show someone Christ in a really unexpected way? [...]

When I was in the ninth grade my mom made me write an apology note to the dentist. He swore he’d never see me again as a patient because I was such a jerk to him. So when we moved to Nashville, I determined I’d pick the dentist’s office as a grace spot. After a few visits of showering everyone in that office with grace, a new hygienist handled my appointment. She said, “I was so excited to finally meet you today. Everyone was talking this morning about how much they enjoy when you come in for a visit and I hadn’t met you yet.” Then a few days later she sent me the first hand written thank you note I’ve ever received from a dentist’s office.

This is a tremendous idea, being intentional in showing grace to people who tend to get disregarded... or, worse, disrespected. There are definitely some people I see each day who don't get much grace from others. Bus drivers. Professors. Custodians. Baristas. Telemarketers. And, yup, dentists. I'd be lying if I said I intentionally showed grace at a dentist's office. Honestly, most of the time, I cry at dentists' offices (they're a life-long phobia of mine; don't laugh :)... but I've got to wonder whether turning the dentist's office into a grace spot wouldn't be a win-win situation. I could brighten up the dentists', hygienists', and office workers' days, and at the same time, by turning my attention outward, I'd feel less stressed out and anxious. Guess it's just my luck that I have an appointment today, so I can try it out and see how it works. ;)

3. The story of Nayanaran Krishnan, who gave up his day job as a doctor to serve India's "untouchables." (Via Jamie)


Love in action. This guy isn't waiting for social change to open up an opportunity for him... he's pushing through the stigma and barreling through the norms on his own, and his actions, while they may be relatively small and aimed at individual recipients, are making massive waves in his community—and, now, in the attitudes of the whole world.

Pretty inspiring, no?

What's challenging you today?

2 comments:

Anna said...

I love the title and idea for this series!

Oksana said...

Thanks Anna! :)


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I'm Oksana—Communication major, shutterbug, occasional blogger, incessant doodler, graphic design geek, and writer of sentimental prose. I am quite content to spend an afternoon with a pencil, a few blank Moleskine pages, and a playlist of indie folk. I love musical theatre, black-&-white movies, and Eastern European illustration. Conversations with strangers make my day. When it rains, I make a beeline for my mug of green tea and stack of 19th-century fiction. I'm vegetarian about 98% of the time. I'm extremely awkward and rather nerdy. I love the sea. My name means 'hosanna' and I'm having the time of my life living to praise the One who set me free.

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