Getting Our Hands Dirty by Megan Cox

Megan is the Executive Director of Give Her Wings. She is a pastoral counselor and is certified in crisis response with the AACC.

art credit: Nathan Dumlao

“It felt like real ministry, Megan. . . like this mama knew that God sees her.” Mel vetted her first mama. She is our amazing new team mentor and we are so excited and proud to have her. After all of her training and mentoring by Audrey, Mel was able to talk to one of our nominated mamas. It was real, this time. She prayed for this mama . . . and the mama cried. Mel said that she felt that nitty-gritty ministry piece and it was beautiful. God sees her. We see her. She is not alone.

Saturday, my children and I went through John 9, where Jesus heals the man with his spit-made-into-mud. A lot of the time, the kids and I focus on what Jesus says but, this day, we were trying a new exercise — noticing what Jesus did. How did He act? How did He move? What steps did He take? As we were discussing, I asked the kids, “What did Jesus do here?” Insightful Mila said, “He got his hands dirty.”

Oh, my yes. He got His hands dirty. He didn’t have to heal this man in this unusual and messy way. Lots of commentators have lots of intelligent and interesting interpretations of why Jesus chose this method. But I believe that there is much wisdom in what teenagers say, sometimes, and I am starting to think that Jesus reached down into the Earth, tossed His holy saliva into the dust He had created, dirtying up His beautiful now-scarred hands because He is like that. He gets in there . . . into our beautiful-sad messes and dips into our bodies of dust and shapes around with His holy Presence. He just isn’t afraid to go there. He is not so white-washed that He can’t get his hands dirty. Goodness . . . Jesus will create with carpentry, mold the clay . . . He’ll even wash His friend’s feet. THEIR FEET. He never shies away from the dirt, loneliness, pain, twisty, lovely, sad, beautiful humanity of our humanness.

One of the most painful words I ever read, just a week after leaving my abusive ex husband, was an email from one of my own family members. The person was explaining why he/she wanted nothing to do with what I was facing . . . describing my situation as . . . “just . . . so MESSY.” I was too messy to be helped. I will never forget it. I don’t think I had ever felt so dirty and discarded.

Over at Give Her Wings, we get in the mess because Jesus gets in our mess. Nothing is too heavy for us to hear and our mamas know that (we take it straight to each other and to Jesus, anyway, so there’s that). We know their lives are messy but we will get our hands dirty. We don’t ask them why this happened — it doesn’t help. We help them where they are. And I actually like getting my hands dirty. It’s like gardening . . . you dig around and help pull up some of those nasty weeds. You plant seeds and nurture. You watch growth. It is invigorating. And it is entirely freeing because all we have to do is offer mercy. That’s it. Just mercy.

The other part of that freedom is that none of us has to pretend. People know we are in the tough stuff and so they naturally come to us and there are no delusions of perfection. No white-washing. No image-management and no pride left. The rawness of our ministry is very real and very refreshing. It’s the real deal. And I couldn’t love it more.

I love what we do, friends. And so many of you who support us help us to do just that. Less fundraising = more time to serve and meet the needs of our mamas. Thank you. Thank you for helping this very messy ministry show love and mercy to God’s people.

To everyone else, get in there in whatever God has put in front of you, with love and kindness, never pushing. Get your hands dirty in the act of love. Show people Jesus like He is and he was and will be to come — up to His elbows in spit and dust in order to help someone see . . . and know they are seen.



3 Replies to “Getting Our Hands Dirty by Megan Cox”

  1. I love this, Megan. It is a messy work, for sure, with many tears., but I’m thankful to be doing it too. Our beautiful Savior, who gets right down into the messes, leads the way.

  2. I’m so very thankful for ya’ll. You are an inspiration to me. I want to do more to help the messy ones because I know what it’s like to be in their shoes. I’m praying about ways I can help more ❤️❤️

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