Saturday, July 02, 2005

SOS To Mission Control

As most of you know, I live and work in the inner city. Yes, me...raised a country girl and still one at heart if truth be told. When I first came here and rolled up my sleeves to apply some elbow grease to the task at hand, oh my was it daunting. For every hungry child I fed, it seemed three more appeared. For every child I comforted another one seemed to be the subject of a news cast , the tragic victim of abuse, neglect and even death. While great changes were taking place within the community where I lived, a few minutes on the bus was all it took to show me how much more needed to be done. My sons were harassed by two White police officers who wanted to know why two white boys wanted to live in this community. The children in the neighborhood had to deal with watching their parents being shot at, one child was left at my house for three days over Thanksgiving with no warning or explanation afterwards. It could get so overwhelming. In fact it could get paralyzing to the point one just felt like throwing their hands in the air and giving up. It seemed so impossible at times.

In spite of all of the emotion and passion that I felt for what I do, eventually I had to learn to let go. I had to learn that regardless of how things look to me, God is still on the throne. I had to learn that I am not called to do everything, ...just what I can. I'm not called to nurture every child in the world...just the ones I can. And I had to learn that even one life touched and altered is a big thing. I had to learn about the ripple effect. But most of all I had to learn that I am not Mission control. I am not the little Dutch boy standing with my finger in the damn afraid that if I make one wrong move all will be lost. I've learned how to let go and send my SOS to the one who is really in control.

4 comments:

Dan Trabue said...

May God bless you and your family with peace of mind and strength as you go about loving the least of these.

Constantine said...

You are spot on Angevoix. Everyone can and should do something (if only, right?!), but we can’t do everything. From your description you share the load of many. You are a genuine soul and gift Angevoix. A Celtic blessing for you: “May the breath of Christ continue to breathe in thee.” By contrast, I can only hope my very small efforts on this front contribute to the "ripple effect" you spoke of in your post. We are not all called to be Mother Teresa or Albert Schweitzer, but we are all indeed called to work for His Kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven. We are earthbound for now.

Of course, given my innate caution, curiosity, even angst (or skepticism as you call it, ha!), I still wonder why Mission Control hasn't sent more help or worked out a better contingency plan. Alas, the real answer to that question is He has. He has sent me and I have failed. I still question though. I hope honesty is a virtue where questions of God are concerned and not deemed a vice. We should not replace honesty and candor with glib phrases like, "you just have to have faith" and/or "it's a mystery." While in some sense I believe both of these phrases are accurate and thus have value as partial answers, we mustn’t replace honest questions with pat answers only or resign ourselves to their logic (a status quo mentality breeding inaction or resignation), lest we miss a Divine clue waiting to be discovered. I don’t know. I’m just thinking out loud here Angevoix and saying it as I really see it. I could be way off base though.

voixdange said...

I think honesty is always a virture. I have found that for me, brutal honesty is the only way to pray.I say exactly what I'm feeling...Why not? He already knows anyway...

But honestly, I see people all around me who have so much more than I, who won't help and I always wonder why...
Sometimes I think it just requires too much risk or too much dying. You just might have something happen such as a child left on your doorstep the day before Thanksgiving... what to tell your family? I try not to be judgemental... But you know, if we aren't willing to extend our own physical presence, we can do other things, such as eat out a little less and write a check to a worthy charity, or keep ourselves informed about political decisions that effect the poor and call our congress person. Volunteer at a food pantry...there is a lot that can be done.

sheila jo said...

I, too, see people who have so much more, and have wondered why they won't help. I agree with you in that it involves too much personal sacrifice, but, too, I believe many people use "church" as an excuse. "Oh, I'm doing my part; I gave at church..." Unfortunately, I know firsthand too many times this "church money" is not for the benefit of the needy, but rather for the promotion of the organization. Like you, I have had to learn that ultimately I am only responsible for doing what I personally can do, even if what I do seems minute in the big picture. (God knows the intent of my heart.)

This is why I believe our Christian influence should radiate far beyond "church" in order to reveal to the world His True Church. If we are unwilling to "go outside the camp," some people may never see the love of God in action.