I’d seen her around, meandering through offices, lightly dusting and cleaning windows to pass the hours. She was a pretty girl who texted her boyfriend incessantly, but was willing to do virtually anything our secretary asked of her. As the time passed away, so did her community service hours as she remained to her self and kept a prickly guard of protection around her. See, occasionally we’ll have youth from the surrounding area ask if they can work off their penalty hours for crimes they have done. The case officer will call and verify that we agree to signoff on hours for minor offenses committed and we in turn work alongside these youth, hopefully encouraging them to get their lives on track.
Well, like I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been swamped with work and been drinking the Koolaid of thinking my work is more important than my calling. For the last year or so, my mantra has been, help others, love others, serve others. With this perspective, I can do what I do without regard to selfish ambition, promotion, or recognition. But sometimes I get in the way of myself. Which is what happened last week when the secretary told me that the mother of the prickly, pretty girl who texted incessantly needed help with her daughter. Desperation oozed through the phone as I heard the voice of a tired mother needing intervention for her wayward child.
I know what the protocol for advising is at work. But I never follow protocol. Like, never. But since I was busy, I decided to pull the protocol card and pass the advising off to the person who is in line to do an advising (knowing he was just as busy as I). I hung up the phone and felt like a like a big, fat schmuck! You say you want to do ministry work, I said to myself, but you passed this girl off like you pass the buck. I knew it was wrong and I was poisoned by my Koolaid.
As sovereignty would have it, I saw the pretty girl who texted incessantly sitting on the stairwell—texting her boyfriend. I knew this was my chance to make amends, so I busted out like Nike and said to myself, Just do it! I called her into my office with wine colored walls and crème colored couch and we began to talk about her life. Before I could even reach across my desk to grab a tissue box, the pretty girl who texted incessantly, stopped texting her boyfriend and cried in my arms. In my arms she felt like a steamed artichoke whose prickly layers were being pulled back to reveal a soft, delicate, and tender heart. As God commanded me to be salt of the earth, I seasoned this young lady with the love of Christ and prayed for the private matters of her heart, the reasons for dependency upon her boyfriend, and the lonely ache of feeling unloved by her parents. Each leaf that was pulled revealed some fleshy pulp of pain, but also revealed the artichoke’s heart… still soft, still tender, still willing to be enjoyed by God.
Help others, love others, serve others. PS Don't drink the Koolaid J