Every day I pass the shoe shine boys with their black stained fingers and the women dangling scarves and bracelets, book marks and necklaces, from the storefront of their forearms. Most days I can’t even begin to wrap my mind around the injustice and the inequality of wealth that bombards my morning walk to Spanish class. Me spending more on my fruit smoothie than thekid with the shy, toothy grin selling gum will make in a day.
I want to think big and intentional and justice oriented, but most days I don’t know how to respond. I don’t know the best development approach and I’m still looking for ways to get involved in the projects that make my heart soar–projects that empower and address root problems and transform lives. I start working for a project like this next month and although I’m scared I’ll be a bit rusty with the office hours and regular deadlines, my heart, my mind, even my fingertips are itching do to something worthwhile, something meaningful. I’m excited.
But something’s changing in me, too. Where I used to brainstorm development strategies and empowerment methods, I now see stalemated politics and cultural differences and really, really complicated issues. It would be easy to become apathetic. If I’m honest with myself, I have been apathetic.
But in absence of a role and an organization to cling to, I’ve realized more and more that the people I’ve wanted to serve for so long are just people. People in need of love and encouragement. People looking for purpose and security and meaningful work. People itching with their hearts and their minds and maybe even their fingertips to provide for their families, to come alive, to do something meaningful.
And more than connecting them with the perfect organization that will help them meet all of their needs, I just want them to know Him. To know Love.
I want them to experience His glory and His love and His healing and His mighty presence that can take our breath away. I want Him to reign in this place, to come and simultaneously shake us awake and hold our hearts steady at the same time. To show us how we’re all connected and yet all unique.
I believe He is here. He is in this place. In the wind in and wind out of my unwholesome lungs. My every breath proof that there is magic. Every day I get to walk the cobblestones and speak Spanish and relax out of the rat race and busyness is a gift.
Ann Voskamp writes, “You’ve only accepted Christ as your Lord without reservation — as much as you have accepted your life as a gift without regret.”
Every day given is gift.
Daily I am being saved.
Daily being made new.
Being made beautiful.
Today I choose to see the beauty and pray that those around me get a glimpse as well.