Saturday, October 2, 2010

My Goodness, Send Me!

Wow, even volunteering isn’t as easy as it seems.

But I’m not giving up on this direction.

I suppose I’m thinking of Matthew 25:31-46, the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats. I have ideas about what [who] the sheep and the goats represent, but whatever is true, it seems clear that the sheep are more desirable or have the more desirable characteristics.

Well, okay, here are some of my thoughts quickly. Sheep are obedient. They hear the Shepherd’s call and follow. They don’t bleat in complaint that it is the Shepherd that takes care of them, leading them to pasture and water, protecting them from danger, or that they are unable to do these things well of their own.

I am not a good sheep.

Anyways, back to the parable and where I’m going with it, volunteer work!

Whatever happens with official/ non-official ministry, I want to be more than talking, I want to be doing. I can’t make others do anything but I can be responsible for myself. And if/ when the opportunity arises, bring others along.

The parable also makes mention of the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, and the imprisoned. All of these people have needs, basic needs that I have been provided already and that I could help see that others are provided: food, drink, shelter, clothing, comfort, and companionship [maybe… to come to know God’s grace through his gracious people?].

At first I was thinking about James 1:27- “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

Orphans and widows are specific target audiences, sure. And my heart goes out to them, but my heart goes out to everyone at this moment. The target audience my Heart wants me to reach out to [“Heart” as by the SHAPE profile] is currently partly rejecting me, in a way. Or maybe I’m just afraid of helping orphans and widows because… I don’t know that I have anything that would help them. I have ideas for helping them, lots of ideas; I don’t know that I’m the one to implement those ideas, at least, not by myself.

Anyways, I do want to build more with people. I mean that I want to put more interaction with the people into how I serve.

It’s something that I loved about working with HFH. We worked with the families who would be getting the houses we were helping them build. I heard some of their stories. I saw the joy in their faces. I saw the appreciation they had for us being there but it kinda seemed backward; I appreciated them being there and working towards something that is difficult for them, reaching for more. They fed my hope.

I want to do more of that.

I suppose I am taking a page out of a good friend’s guide about “preaching and healing.” It’s no longer satisfactory that I merely hand out a piece of bread, for instance. Anyone can hand out a piece of bread. The difference is that I am to be an ambassador of Christ [II Cor. 5:20], and as such, I need to interact with the receiver of the bread, talk to them, share God’s love for them by word and by deed, however momentary or longer. What if Jesus had fed the five thousand but kept to himself who he was? What good would that have been to his disciples or the general public?

So, after thinking about the widows and orphans and thinking that other people might be better suited for the typical routes of… um… Big Brothers, Big Sisters and stuff, I then thought about the passage about the sheep and goats and the basic needs mentioned earlier in this post.

What can I do with that? So came the idea of trying [again] for HFH [shelter, companionship] here at home. Which, by the way, I’ve gotten my first call to do something with them. It’s not what I really want to do, building, but it’s something. I’m not saying anything more on this until I get the confirmation that I’m scheduled. But I’m excited!

When HFH seemed stalled, I decided that food would be the next thing to check out. I am filling out the volunteer form for the Food Bank. I’m a little… concerned because they have a lot of things to fill out on their form. They even ask about conditions which would limit activity. …

I’m kinda scared.

At least I’m looking for what I can do for God’s glory. This is my personal plan for the time being. *sigh.

You can do this, Jennifer, you can do this. You can help someone else. You’re a… charming person…? People will like you…? Ugh, just GO. You can do this.

Anyone wanna volunteer with me…?