Secular

We are embarking on new territory, learning about grant-writing (not government grants…just private organizations and community foundations), prayerfully seeking funding for this growing ministry, entering uncharted waters…. uncharted by me, at least. Yesterday, I was filling out some paperwork to register with a company that provides discounted software to non-profit organizations. In order to receive the specific software we needed, I would have to describe our “secular” activities. They didn’t offer the same discount to those practicing “religious” activities.

Secular…

sec·u·lar

/ˈsɛk yə lər/ Show Spelled [sek-yuh-ler] Show IPA

adjective

1. of or pertaining to worldly things or to things that are not regarded as religious, spiritual, or sacred; temporal: secular interests.

 

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I stopped short, unable to say that anything we do at Sufficient Grace matched that description.

I understand the company’s concerns that groups of people may be excluded.
And, my answer:
We serve all families who come to us in need. A grieving mother standing before us, is a grieving mother…regardless of her circumstances or beliefs. We are called to offer comfort and hope. We have served families from all over the world, families with all different beliefs, values, cultures, political stances, religions. Atheists and agnostics, included. The mothers who gather here do not seem concerned with such labels. They simply long to find comfort and hope in the midst of a canyon of grief. The same grief that unites mothers from all walks of life.
     We do not require anyone to believe a certain way, or to jump through any hoops to receive the services we offer. We simply give freely to those in need. However, we make no apologies here. Our mission is to offer the same comfort to others that we received from the Lord, as described in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. We will pray for you, and send materials to support you in your grief…a Comfort Bear to ease the ache of empty arms, a Dreams of You Memory Book to provide a place to honor a treasured life, a dearly loved and greatly missed child, books that serve as practical guides with common answers to grief and others that reassure of the hope of heaven, a beautiful gown for some, to dress your sweet baby in for pictures and burial, mommy and baby bracelets. If you come to us, asking for reassurance, we freely offer hope from mothers who have walked this path, a listening ear, a safe haven, some scripture, and prayer. No one is or has ever been forced to agree with us to receive our services.
     Our world is quite concerned with labels, like secular and religious. And, it seems those words have brought great division among people. Jesus is concerned with the condition of our hearts. We serve others in this ministry, because we love Him and we want to honor Him. I can no more deny Him and the ways that He has made beauty from the ashes of our grief, than I can deny being the mother of Faith, Grace, and Thomas. And, do you know what? I have never been asked to deny Him by a mom grieving for her child, even if she didn’t feel the same. It isn’t worth the price of software to us…to claim the label of secular. Even if we do provide many “practical” services that help families, services which you could categorize as “secular”. You can call them what you want, I suppose. I will call it loving and serving others, because Jesus first loved us…offering hope because He carried us…reassuring of comfort, because He comforted us.

     That is what we have to give…to any who come to us in need. I’m pretty sure our God is big enough to provide software, and much-needed funding without such compromises and labels, don’t you think? He has certainly been faithful to do so thus far.
Philippians 4:19
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
2Corinthians 4:17-18 
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For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,  while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Eternity will always hold more value than what this world offers.

Comments

  1. Amen…my sister from another mother! lol

  2. Good for you for standing your ground! You’re right, a piece of software is not worth it when the cost is that high (and I don’t mean $$ cost!) You know what drives you to do all that you do and I admire you a lot for it :)

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