Sweaty palms, too many books, my head frazzled by trying to remember too many things, asking myself: “Will my words have meaning in their lives?”
Everything in me wanted to capture and bottle that feeling I’ve gotten when a speaker seems to be saying the words of his talk directly to me as if I am the only one in the room. I wanted to bottle it, and then pour it all over the kids in front of me.
I feel bad for my teammates on Franciscan LEAD that first summer. I was so focused on me me me, I knew little of God.
Luckily God can bend and stretch a heart, and humility can be added.
I still have only a glimmer of an idea if what God is doing and who he is, but finally and for the first time in my mind, this ministry is not about me.
I sat writing a talk for my first LEAD week this summer, feeling as though I literally had nothing to give. The truth is, I don’t actually have anything to give, thats the point. It all came crashing down into me then: I am nothing but an instrument in the hand of God. I had heard that a million times, but I wasn’t actually accepting the reality of it. Of course, I’d like to think of myself as a flute or a harp, but most days I am most likely simply a hammer: If I hit it right this time, things might actually stay together.
I decided in that moment to let God have free reign.
This work is his. His ministry, his retreat, his talk, these are his kids, I was struck by the fact that these are his eternal souls, and I (the mess that I am) had been asked to be there with them, somehow for his glory. He had planned from the beginning of time that I would be there with them, and now was his chance to speak.
What an extraordinary plan he had concocted out of seemingly ordinary materials.
I realized that if he had been so strategically planning this, nothing I thought I needed to say actually mattered, I only had the unimaginable opportunity to stand in front of God’s children and my God and tell them about him.
What an outrageous thing.
What words can really capture God Our Father? Are there any? We mostly conclude who God is by knowing what he cannot be, So how could I take my silly stories and small sentences and somehow make them capture the grandure of the One who made me, saves me, clothes me and is worth giving everything for? How could I make them see? How could I give them the feeling?
In the entire reality of church ministry, evangelization, the very mission I’ve given my life for, I cant actually make anything happen for God. I can only facilitate a happy meeting for the God of the Universe and the small children I spiritually mother. It is one of the most frustrating and most freeing realities I know. I sometimes want to scream, “God is the only one worth anything!” I would do anything to make them see it. But I simply cannot make them. A soul only comes to know Love Himself when the exact moment of an open heart and a free will is aligned with Truth. He becomes the Way the Truth and the Life. I could never make that happen. I can only arrange the meeting.
God has asked me to keep arraigning. It is like a restaurant worker who is constantly arranging and rearranging hospitality. The worker hopes for the right atmosphere for the perfect connection between guests.
What a seat on the set of GLORY I have been given. I gave that talk a few months ago, it went okay, but that feeling? I’ll never know who might have it or when, because that feeling, I am sure, is the Holy Spirit, and it is completely, totally, undoubtably not me.