If that was an outcome that you knew for certain you were going to get from the job that you were taking… would you still take it?
Welcome to ministry. Particularly as a youth worker.
You know full well that you are called to help hurting people. and sometimes in that process, it gets messy… and sometimes, in that process, the hurting people flail, and they land one square across your face, or pull a suckerpunch to the gut, and you’re knocked down, or worse; out. and sometimes you wonder why you bother. why you care so much.
But deep down, you know why. and You know that the pain you are suffering in this moment is well worth the redemption that Jesus is bringing through your words and your work, and even through your willingness to take that punch.
and if you need to weep, by all means! You are in good company!
after all… it’s not the sting of the freshly distressed skin where the fist landed that hurts so much…. it’s the much deeper ache of betrayal. The pain of knowing that someone you care about so much has chosen to let it fly.
I’m pretty sure that that’s a pain our Savior knows pretty well.
So I pray that today, as you sit, withdrawn, on a hilltop with Him, and gaze at the raw ugliness of the cross, and the pieces of torn flesh and the rivers and stains of blood that pool in the dents where the stark stakes still stand, that the beauty of what was accomplished on that cross washes over you, as Jesus whispers his strengthening encouragement to you, a faithful partner in the redemptive work of that cross.
You have chosen to join Him in His suffering. So I pray that your joy in every inch of creation that is reclaimed and redeemed will also overflow, and that you may know a unique intimacy with Him in this space.
Thank you so much for showing me the beauty in the midst of the pain of being faithful to this messy ministry.
I was inspired today, seeing you take that shot, and very deliberately turn the other cheek.