Wednesday, August 12, 2009

artichoke hearts...

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

14 comments:

Mommaloo said...

Thank you! I've been that girl, and wanted someone to do exactly what you did for her. She will need someone in her life constantly that will help remind her that there is more to life than what she see's right now. You have given her a starting point and now she will need to surround herself with good things and good people. Thank you from someone who needed it at one time or another.

Anonymous said...

i love you for starting my day like this, bi. but don't be mad when you get home & i'm your next artichoke! :o) xoxo
-me
& seriously i hope you know, i know you've felt like this when it came to me, & i am indebted to your sacrifices for drying my tears anyway. i love you.

Bianca said...

@Momma: Thanks for the blog love! Hope all is well in Texas :)
@Artichoke: I love you and will always peel your prickly leaves away... and then I'll eat your heart out because it really is delicious. Darn! There goes my metaphor :(

christy said...

ok---my eyes were all watery by the end of your blog! Yes, sometime we let life get in the way of helping and loving others...just have to remember what we r here for:)

Anonymous said...

I'm crying at work and it is really early, but so worthy. Thanks Bianca, i once was that troubled little girl and i know what is to be alone, i thank God you and her crossed path and you were so sweet to supported her.. God Bless your heart

Rebecca* said...

Oh Bianca. I read your blog in the midst of tons of photography blogs, and I'm so happy I do because it makes me pause and think about what really matters. Thank you!

Michelle said...

I agree with Rebecca* above. Mostly the blogs I read are photography blogs. There are very few that fall into other categories... but yours is one of the few that I read daily (non photography related) and I am SO GLAD that I do. Thank you for such a beautiful illustration of what it means to love and to be available. Your honesty is really appreciated and inspiring. :)

Anonymous said...

Bi, I love the way the Lord convicted you and you obeyed!! You love the Lord and you do truly love others!! :)

renay. said...

Ahh, B, now I'm hungry for artichokes (JK)! Honestly, this was a beautiful metaphor. I'll be praying for this young girl to come to know Jesus, to receive His unconditional love for her, and depend solely on Him.

Oh yeah, and note to self: Don't drink the Koolaid!

Diandra Ann said...

I've been guilty of this too. It's one of those things that haunts you... unless you get a second chance. I'm so glad our God is one of second chances!
So proud of you! :)

Cindy A. said...

*sigh* Teary-eyed as well!

Thank you for the reminder to serve others always. Regardless of how much is already on our plates, there's always room for artichokes.

Anonymous said...

Let me be selfish...I miss you!! I'm not going to read any more of your posts until you come home! kidding, of course...but I miss you like crazy...hurry home, sit on my couch, eat some food (healthy of course), and tell me all about the trip!

-j

Justine said...

You are truly amazing and it's so encouraging to see what God is doing in your life. Thank you

Follow the Yellow Brick Road said...

I absolutely LOVE reading your blog. I can't believe there are two of you to love and admire....thank goodness for twins. I find myself reading your blogs a few times just to take it all in. God has truly blessed you with an loving and caring heart. We need more Bianca's in the world.

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