This week I've been on a crazy roller coaster of thoughts, frustrations, anxieties, basically confusion to say the least.
My week began with a simple situation. A moment where I sat idly by and did nothing. This became an irritant in my mind for the rest of week, posing the question to friends "what would you do".
So I run an after school program for kids at a social housing complex by the center I work at. Today we just chilled with the kids, and played games. It was a lot of fun, and as I sat in the grass helping a girl with her homework - I thought - this is what it's about, just hanging out doing life with kids. Then one of the older brothers of a girl who was in our program came to get her. It was time to come in, and help him with their younger brother. She was non-compliant to say the least. I understand the frustration, and annoyance. He probably wanted to be hanging out with his friends instead of taking care of his siblings. The next thing that happened changed my world - it wasn't life changing for them - it was everyday life. She yelled "Shut up" at him, and he threw his back pack at her as though it was his fist. Then he ran at her and kicked her in the back of the leg. This wasn't just playful brother sister fighting, it was an inside glimpse to her life - to their life. I just sat there.
I did nothing, I just sat in the grass talking to the other kids. I didn't yell "HEY don't kick her". I didn't get up and chase him away, I saw idly by and did nothing.
I feel as though this is a metaphor for my life. I sit in my house watching t.v , I listen to my music, wait for my friends to call, and waste my time. Lately I've been checking out the invisible children website, over and over. Watching videos, sobbing endlessly, asking God - what can I really do? I hear of so many injustices during the live broadcast of the UN's "international day of peace", and think - now that i'm aware I have a responsibility. I question myself "what can I even do to change the circumstances of many peoples lives?"
I've been thinking a lot lately about my selfishness. How it seeps into my whole life. I have been "looking out for myself" for along time. My dad was sick, and all focus was on him for along time. My brother went through this and that in his life, and I was always there to help him through life. My dad passed away, and my mother went through a grieving process. My brother got married, and life was focused on that. So Jessica looks out for herself. Thinking of herself, because she feels no one else will. This is what the worlds tells you "look out for yourself, watch out for #1. Do not give up your life for anyone, you need to make sure your getting yours". This thought seeps into our lives when we go through bumps in friendships or relationships. We think "I need to make sure I don't get hurt". Alfred Lord Tennyson once said (as is now quoted as a cliche), "'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all". Which is true in every friendship, and relationship you have. You love without reserve, you fight injustice diligently, you serve with every ounce of strength that you have. This must seep into every instance, love people with your whole heart - even if they turn your hand outs away. Strive to empower those who seem to be powerless, even though they are weary in spirit. Every moment you spend standing up for someone, loving them, cheering them on - is a moment spent in worship to God.
"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" James 1:27.
So complacency and selfishness is the battle I'm fighting in this season of life. In order to stand up for those little girls who are being beaten, to never miss out on moments of love, to do what God has for me in every instance of life, and obey Him.
This week is the beginning of something God is breaking in me, maybe he's restoring something. But as of right now, I'm being broken slowly ...the complacency is falling off, daily the selfishness will decrease little by little.
less of me, More of Him.