Proverbs 3:5 says: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And don’t lean on your own understanding”. During this period of self-examination, if I am truly honest with myself, trusting God with all my heart is really hard for me. I like to know where I am headed and how I am going to get there. I am continually learning that God doesn’t work like that.
Take our outreach ministry at El Nido in Washington Heights as an example. We did lots of research about the greatest needs in NYC, the most effective family interventions, the strongest literacy programs, etc. We also pledged to have a mindset of openness to God’s will. We were prepared to think about complicated topics: domestic violence, the struggles of a single mom, the need for winter coats, etc. We have encountered those issues. However, we are encountering so many more issues that we did not anticipate. Except now they aren’t “issues”, they are moms just like me. Moms with the same dreams for their children that I have for John and Alex. However, these women don’t have sufficient baby formula so they dilute it to get through the week. These moms live in one room and don’t have space for their babies to practice crawling. These moms try to stretch the wet diaper one hour longer to save money. The program that we so diligently researched and designed continues to morph in important ways. We have found partners to supply formula and diapers. We are opening our space more frequently for our community. We will continue to listen and try to respond with love.
Monika, our program director, and I frequently joke that we can be a bit dense and it takes God telling us what our neighbors need many times before we understand.
I am learning that God speaks in so many ways if I am listening.
Dear Heavenly Father, help me trust in You with all my heart.
Friends and members of our Christ Church family have prepared these daily reflections as a means for you to consider how forgiveness informs your faith walk during this holy season. They are a richly diverse group from many different geographies around our nation and globe, formed by a wide variety of traditions.