Mini-Me.

She is the one who resembles me the most.  She’s a bookworm who loves to read and she carries her journal everywhere we go in case she gets a good idea for the story she’s writing.  She’s sensitive, but outspoken; feisty, melodramatic, adventurous, and loves a good laugh.  She mimics my facial expressions when she talks and ‘talks’ with her hands when she’s really trying to make her point.  Her voice inflections are almost exact copycats of mine and the very same worship songs bring her to tears.  She’s afraid of a half a million things, but she does them anyway because she’s more afraid of missing out.  And she absolutely cannot stand the sight of suffering because it sticks with her and she just can’t seem to shrug it off.

Sophie is my Mini-Me.  Most of the time I think she’s the only one of the four that actually looks like me, but the truth is I see bits and pieces of myself in all of them.  Nate has my temper and my stubbornness (Lord Jesus help him!).  Jimmy has my inability to handle criticism, and my passion for hysterical memes.  And Ella has my outspokenness and my sass (Lord Jesus help me!). But there’s something about Sophie that makes me feel like I’m looking at myself in a rearview mirror.  Carrying on a conversation with her is like talking to myself 30 years ago–minus the twinkling hazel eyes and that sweet, raspy voice.

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The cool thing is that since she’s only 9 she actually loves when I call her my mini-me.  The other morning, for example, she came downstairs and found me reading my Bible.  She hugged me good morning, quickly ran back upstairs, and reentered the room seconds later with her Bible in her arms.  She curled up next to me, took out her pens and highlighters, and said, “I’m gonna read my Bible too, just like mommy.  ‘Cause I’m your mini-me, right?”  I smiled and hugged her close….

And then I got to thinking, as Christians, shouldn’t that be our highest calling?  Shouldn’t that be exactly what we are tying to become?  “Little Christs,” as C.S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity.  The Mini-Me of Jesus.

In order to be His Mini-Me I ought to look like Him, sound like Him, and act like Him.  Like Sophie does me, I should mimic Him. I should model His mercy, His patience, and His unrivaled love, mercy, and grace.  What He’s sensitive to, I should be as well: injustice, intolerance, hatred, poverty, sickness, and greed.  These things should break my heart the way they broke His. They should inspire me toward acts of mercy, words of grace, cries for justice, and ridiculous amounts of giving to those in need.

When Jesus saw a woman about to be stoned to death by a group of sinful, self-righteous men did he whip out his smartphone and capture the whole thing on Facebook live while madly typing a narrative about the injustice of it all?  No!  He started a conversation, humbly challenged their thinking, and used His words to change hearts and minds. He got busy saving her life.  When the sword of his impulsive friend sliced off the ear of one of the men who had come to arrest Him, did He {knowing full well that they were about to do far worse to Him} just walk away an leave it there?  Hardly!  He picked up that bad boy and reattached it to the man’s head while He rebuked His friend for being an impetuous loudmouth.  Jesus didn’t sit waste time sitting around.  He didn’t shake His head or roll His eyes or shrug off poverty, sickness, and injustice as just being an ugly part of life.  He didn’t complain on Facebook about the issues or retweet someone else’s anecdote.  He got busy in the doing.  And if we are gonna identify ourselves as Christians– His “mini-mes”–we should be doing the same.  

When we see only issues–refugees, human trafficking and abuse, drug addiction, disease, police brutality–we become easily overwhelmed by their depth and breadth and we assume that because we cannot possibly “fix” the problem in our own strength, the best thing to do is no-thing at all.  But the truth is that doing no-thing is far worse!  Every one of us is well-equipped to do something.  We can give to organizations that help refugees.  We can choose to purchase items from companies committed to Fair Trade.  Or, even closer to “home,” we can visit those in hospitals & treatment centers and encourage them; letting them know they are loved and not forgotten.  We can open our mouths, ears, and hearts and start a conversation with those who have been victims of injustice and really listen to their experiences.  We can serve in a soup kitchen.  We can “adopt” a single mom and offer a helping hand.  Become a Big Brother or Big Sister.

The truth is, we can all stop making excuses and get busy with the doing because that’s precisely what Jesus did.  If we are going to be audacious enough to call ourselves Christians, then it’s high time we all get busy showing the world around us what a “little Christ” looks like.

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Sitting there with Sophie, I realized how much real, hard work there is to do.  I thought about how little I am doing now for the community around me, and I was ashamed of all the excuses I have made.  While I realize that raising four children, home-educating, and holding down the fort while my active duty husband is constantly TDY is no small feat, I also realize that there is a world outside these walls in desperate need. There are many more needs than I can realistically meet on my own; but that shouldn’t stop me from offering a helping hand, an encouraging word, a hot meal, a listening ear, or even a monetary donation whenever and wherever I can.

Perhaps if I get busy in the ‘doing, I can show Sophie {and all my kids} exactly what this looks like.  Then, maybe–just maybe– they’ll aspire to be the Mini-Me of One who is far greater than I.

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