Life is often found to run fast, like a sped up movie on an old fashioned real. The story speeds by and becomes hard to follow with all the jolts and jitters of the film. Too often in the flurry good things overtake the best- and we don’t even know it.
The Story of Robert Pierce Who Founded World Vision & Samaritan’s Purse
To cap of my education in missions at Moody Bible Institute, we were trained in Missionary Relationships. Let’s face it, the number one reason missionaries return from the field is conflict with other missionaries, so relationships, and the ability to function best in them, is an essential skill. What I remember most from that class was the impression I got from the book Days of Glory, Seasons of Night, the story of Robert Pierce who started World Vision and Samaritan’s Purse written by his daughter.
The feeling that I get when I think about it is what I might expect from witnessing a terrible atrocity, yet seeing one of the greatest victims standing in the middle of the mess with a smile on her face. My stomach is in my throat, my mouth is twisted into a frown, and I have to do double takes at Marilee Pierce Dunker throughout the reading.
Marilee paints a positive portrait of her dad that radiates with respect and shows in vibrant hues his incredible work for God all over the world starting World Vision and Samaritan’s Purse (both agencies I have a personal high regard for). Yet, in telling the story, the reader can see clearly how her father, for all practical purposes, abandoned his family and justified it. From Marilee’s tone, though, I kept doing double takes at her person in my imagination- Did she even realize what he had done? She had written about him with so much respect and regard.
While he had done great things, his wife and children were forever marred in the process, because of his inability to prioritize his family as important. He didn’t even seem to believe his family was a priority.
- Not when his kids were little.
- Not through all their growing up years.
- Not when Marilee’s sister as an adult pleaded with him to come see her, telling him she needed him.
When, characteristic to her entire life, he failed to show up for her, Marilee’s sister committed suicide. The book had left me, as a young twenty-something planning to go into ministry, deeply horrified at that prospect of the effect of bad priorities on the lives of those that matter most to me. It is an undercurrent that runs through my veins to this day of horror and disgust at what can happen when I sacrifice the best for what is very good.
Radical Power of 5-Minute Self-Reflection
One of the best gifts we can give our children is that of weekly 5-minute self-reflection. It only takes a few minutes to consider some questions that could radically change the course our kids’ lives.
Try it out. Take 5 minutes and consider the following questions. Be gritty and honest with yourself, and see the difference in your children’s lives. And when, in a flash, you blink your eyes and they are grown, no doubt you will look back with less regret for having done so.