But I look around and see poverty. I read about sex workers. I know slavery exists here and I know it exists even especially in America. (Google about tomato workers in FL, among other things) In light of all this nothing feels like enough. Nothing I can do will hold a candle to these crazy, cruel, unfathomable beasts in our world.
I struggle with living off of financial support. I often feel guilty that I’m not doing enough or being enough to justify the resources that are keeping me here. What would be enough? I really don’t know. In chatting with friends in similar situations, even people who I think are incredible and doing great things, feel the same way. That makes me feel a little better. I feel like I easily see the ministry and love in the lives of others. Bringing good and light to their corners of the world. Sometimes I struggle to see it in my corner. I go to class, learn Arabic, sometimes get to talk about Truth with teachers there. I spend most of my afternoons at the center’s watching silly tv, eating, sitting, talking about Justin Beiber and what I don’t know about the WWE and doing arts and crafts with the boys. Is that enough? Is that advancing the kingdom at all?
I have to believe so. I have to believe it is for now. I don’t think being here is a mistake. And if it’s not a mistake…then God ordained it. Even a cup of cold water offered in Jesus’ name advances the kingdom. Even the things that don’t bring visible dramatic change can still in small and seemingly insignificant ways bring his kingdom come. I have to believe what he said is true.
It kind of boils down to trust, doesn’t it? Do I trust that God is using me? Am I demanding proof from him? Will I remain unconvinced unless God shows me? It even comes down to…do I trust in the promise that he will use is not only in spite of our weaknesses but in them? I’m needing to see with my eyes and and feel with my hands in order to justify my worth and value to myself that I’m being useful. I should be living and trusting that when I walk with God, when I give my best, He uses all for good and works in and through is whether I can see it or not.
I still long for the big kindnesses and acts of love and to feel like I’m making a difference in the world somehow. But no one stands alone. We are all a part of something bigger than ourselves. Lots and lots of people contribute to the success of a person of thing. I have always had some key people in my life, but I have been sustained by small acts of love all along the way. Am I not content to be a small part of something bigger? I do adore these boys. I struggle to know how to show it best or what to do all the time. But anything is something..right?
“The temptation is to look beyond these things, precisely because they are so constant, so petty, so humdrum and routine, and to seek to discover instead some other and nobler ‘will of God’ in the abstract that better fits our notion of what his will should be.” Fr. Walter Ciszek
Oh man, and I’m learning that that surrendering to Christ, dying to self, and submitting ourselves to Christ is a daily thing. At different points in my life I have tearfully surrendered to God. I’ve told him I’m willing to die for him, willing to leave everyone I love and come to Africa, willing to stay single if that’s what happens. But I can’t do that once and then it just counts. I can’t make that decision once and then it’ll stick there by itself for the rest of my days. It is an every day thing.
I feel like I’ve been stuck in my head a little these last few weeks. This land is one where I’m fine (really) but I struggle to thrive. Maybe I thought by this point I would find my footing and be…I dunno better at this somehow than I am. But I am finding truth abounding on this road. I’m thankful for that. And for you. Maybe this post is a little too personal. I dunno. But I always want to be genuine. In any case…prayers this way are appreciated. I know they have power.
“You are more, you are more than my words will ever say
You are Lord, you are Lord all creation will proclaim”