Are you longing for a more meaningful life? Start here.
Where do we even begin?
Shannan Martin offers a surprisingly simple answer: uncover the hidden corners of our cities and neighborhoods and invest deeply in the lives of people around us. She walks us through her own discoveries about the vital importance of paying attention, as well as the hard but rewarding truth about showing up and committing for the long haul, despite the inevitable encounters with brokenness and uncertainty. With transparency, humor, heart-tugging storytelling, and more than a little personal confession, Martin shows us that no matter where we live or how much we have, as we learn what it is to be with people as Jesus was, we'll find our very lives." --goodreads
"I have long understood the American concept of neighbors. They are the ones who live next door. The ones we wave at, now and then. The ones we might gift with cookies during the holidays. They are the nice people who keep a comfortable distance. It's likely we might never learn their names. But maybe the American idea of neighbors doesn't match God's idea. He invites us to something deeper, calling us to join Him in loving each other and promising it will be worth the vulnerability it's sure to cost us. He points us to the heart of the matter: aligning with our neighbors will change our lives if we let it. But before we can offer them anything, we first have to be mindful students in the uncomfortable art of receiving." —Shannan Martin, The Ministry of Ordinary Places
If I am honest with myself, most of the time, I actually find it easier to give than to receive, even when it involves sacrificial giving. I personally have a difficult time asking for and/or receiving help from others. I'd rather be the helper than the helped.
Shannon covers this in her book as well. Not everyone we meet needs our help, though many may. Many times God brings people across our paths not because they need help, but because He knows they can help us. Learn to recognize the difference.
“In a world where hope seems dim and solutions feel complicated and partisan, Shannan Martin offers us a starting point that is as radical as it is domestic: widen your circle, hush your mouth, and pay close attention. This book is the right book for this moment in time and I simply cannot get over it. I either laughed or cried on almost every page. We need these lyrical, prophetic words now more than ever before.” —Emily P. Freeman, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Simply Tuesday
“This is a message the world needs. So often we overcomplicate service or this elusive call to ministry when all the while ministry is right in front of us. Shannan reminds us of the simple, yet beautiful call to love our neighbor and what that could really look like today. We are reminded that extravagant love in ordinary moments does indeed lead to an extraordinary life.” —Katie Davis Majors, New York Times bestselling author of Kisses from Katie