Wednesday, June 11, 2008

It May Rain

Yesterday, at about 5:00 I got a phone call from a friend who works in Lancaster city. He called to tell me that his car battery was dead and that he was looking for someone to come help him jump the car. It was actually great timing for me because I was in between things at work when he called. I had started work at 8:00 AM and I had a Match Night (where a new participant meets her mentoring group for the first time) later in the evening. I didn't really desire to work 12-13 hours in one day, but it looked like that was how things were shaping up to be. I had plenty of things to keep my busy, but this was a great reason to step out of the office and take a break before my evening meeting.

The sky was slightly cloudy when I got into my car, but it was not noticeably dark. As I started to drive down the street to find this friend's car (which was about 7 blocks away) the sky quickly filled with dark, full clouds and within a minute or two rain had started to fall. As this is occurring, I get a second phone call from the friend saying that it turns out AAA was there already (they told him earlier that it would probably take them about an hour to get there...). I started to circle back around to the office.

I wasn't bothered by the diversion to my day, but I did have to wonder in amazement at how I got to the point of sitting in my car on Mulberry St. in the pouring rain, knowing full well that I would inevitable be getting wet in about 3 minutes while running to the office building from my car. 5 minutes prior to that I had been warm, dry, and making dinner and was now hot, soon to be wet, and hungry.

I thought..."this is not exactly how I planned this 'break' to turn out"...and then God gently nudged me to the realization that this was meant to be an object lesson in my life.

There are times in life when we will care about another person, even to the point of going out of our way to do something for them that might be against our routine or above what we normally would offer. I would like to believe that when we do this, that there would be some kind of positive return each and every time. But clearly that is not always the case. There are times when we will be moved to help someone, care about their situation, and in return we will find ourselves sitting in the rain, turning in a different direction than what was originally planned.

This is not a new realization, but it was a fresh reminder.

Yesterday in my supervision meeting, while reviewing all of my cases with my supervisor, I grew discouraged. I became overwhelmed with the idea that I truly have come to care about some of these women on a deeper level than I expected. This seems like it would be a good thing. But caring means that my heart is now involved. I am experiencing metaphorical rain in some of these cases where I expected to see sunshine by now. My vision for these women is not always where they land in life and that is not an easy thing to accept.

I was encouraged yesterday by some words that brought hope to my weariness:

"Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? 2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.

3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too."

Phil. 2

Where do I turn when my integrity is tested and I find rain instead of clear skies? I will turn to the Lord who is my hope and my salvation.

Psalm 43:5
Why am I discouraged?Why is my heart so sad?I will put my hope in God!I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!

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