The initial setting is our ministry’s gentle office space where we met each month. The very space almost stripped from under our feet based on the recent decision of our primary partner. A decision they had no choice to have made, because of the massive life-changing event every person in the world has had to face this year. Yet, we prevailed. With persistence we boldly knocked and asked [Luke 11: 5-6] to remain in this space, and our request was granted. We asked and we received. Just like that!
We are perfectly aware some requests and positive responses are not as quickly provided. But because we know the work we continue to do is vital, we linger into God. This order we know is paramount to productions and celebrations. Quietly we move forward, without the need for external pats-on-the-back, but man… do we praise each other internally. The perception we hold of ourselves and the people we serve is compulsory led by our greatest compassion to offer respite, warmth, comfort, food, community… all intertwined as God’s grace.
“Do not depend on the hope of results. When you are doing the sort of work you have taken on…you may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself.” – Thomas Merton
Jesus was ridiculed, called names, tested repeatedly, thought to be blasphemous, and killed. Even today, there are some who continue to call Him names and tear Him down. Yet, in all this, He has their attention, right? He withstood the test of circumstances by people whose primary foci were on the laws of their politics. Today, He is tested by those who live by fear because of their refusal to embrace His consistent unfolding of His love. He noticed/notices in these groups, that in both instances- past and present- no focus was/is given to the greatness of God. As a self-proclaimed iconoclast, the Apostle Paul wrestled with those in some communities still focused on laws “Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because the righteous will live by faith” [Galatians 3:11]. Applying the teachings of Jesus, he spoke to the Gentiles and Jews, delivering effective arguments on the importance of inclusivity as representations of God’s Kingdom. Christ’s truths remain!
The work of the Jesus in us and through us is the vessel that brings us to the shores where he awaits us. Raging waves of fear and discomfort are no match to the providence of Him who continues to steer our vessels of compassion and divine grace. Our wisdom and safety come only from God. Arrogant giants [Genesis 6:5] have no place at His mercy seat, when labors are for Him. Our Father’s only begotten Son who commenced the charge we continue to incur, makes this life of service to Him so much better.
Imagine though, a state of human-being where there are no diseases (mental, physical, emotional, spiritual) or dis-ease (the absence of basic human needs). Let’s just imagine this for a moment. Oh yes, in our minds this human life is indeed possible. The ancient truth of pure, sweet care is viable, because in at least one or many areas of our lives, we have experienced this. From Jesus himself or from His divine beauty shown through others. Because we know this, awareness is heightened. Through Christ, this loving-care for each person, is unswerving, it is dutiful, it is tender, and it is within us to share to the world. The continuous job of our helping ministry, implemented by our great team, demands this. In the office space we were granted, we do this. In our hearts we give thanks.
My beloveds, this week, so willingly I give this gift of thought to you. Remove the naysayers from your mind, and just listen to Jesus! He is the rightness, the truth of the work itself [Psalm 1:6]… He is the everlasting setting.