I’ve been thinking about working in HD. My reflex is to think of myself as these girls’ savior, and I plan how I will help them and love them and show them Christ.
Today I got a glimpse of something else. I stepped outside of myself for one moment, which is both a profound relief and an intense discomfort. I thought about each individual woman I will meet. I thought of a young girl who will be bold and brash and powerful. I thought of another woman who will be timid, thoughtful, and scared. I thought of another who will ignore me, lost in her own world, unwilling to be helped.
I realized that the help I offer them is limited. I want so badly to be important. There is a deep part of me that longs to be a name on their lips when they think back on the people who changed their life. I want to be meaningful, because in my heart, I feel meaningless.
So do they, I think. No, I’m sure, because isn’t that everyone’s fear? We long for connection and purpose and hope. I am no different from the women I go to “serve.” I have lofty hopes of being Christ to them, but they will be Christ to me. After all, the Bible speaks far more often of the oppressed mirroring Jesus than the privileged.
“Blessed are the poor,” not “Blessed are those who care for the poor.”
-Philip Yancey’s Soul Survivor
In my hero-fantasy of what the future holds, I am in technicolor, and the women I will teach are a blur. God, help me to see them as individuals created by you, known by you, and cherished by you. Help me to see myself amongst them, learning from them, laughing with them, struggling with them. Lift them up and bring me low, so that we can all stand before you in thanksgiving and doubt and joy.
Tomorrow I will probably return to my self-centeredness. That is my natural viewpoint. But I hope that this glimpse I have today will be planted deep within me, growing and spreading until it takes over the whole of me. I want to love, not for my gain, but for God’s pleasure.