I read a story a few months ago (here) that has really struck a strong chord with me. It is basically about a girl who helps out her neighbor in a pinch. Her neighbor is going through drug rehab, has a toddler, and was in a dark place in life. I mean, really, Godlessly dark.
This is one thing she said she learned from the experience:
I realized that the Church isn’t going to change the world by promoting a certain agenda. It is going to change the world by sitting in creepy living rooms. Holding babies that aren’t ours. Listening to stories that make us uncomfortable. The Church is going to change the world by loving and serving the broken & knowing that without the grace of God their mistakes could have been our mistakes.
I remember when I was living in one of our Maggie’s Place homes, I felt that last part burning inside me. The fact that there is no difference between the pregnant women I was serving, and me. We were all the same. We all wanted the same things in life. We all had the same hopes and fears. And very importantly, without the things that have been given to me – my normal, loving family that I was born into, being brought up in a Christian home, my education my parents encouraged and helped pay for – without all of these things that I did not necessarily choose, I could very well have been in the same scenarios they were facing.
You never know, right? I could very well have been pregnant and alone. For the 3rd time. I could very well have dropped out of school. I could very well have been in that abusive relationship. It all could very well have been me.
I still need to remind myself of this. I think this sort of understanding and humility is important wherever we go, whenever we see a homeless person, whenever we help out someone in need, whenever we do that volunteer service project. It could have been us, and we are not better than them.
This last line in the post gives me chills, and calls me out – because of course, I’m not perfect at this either. I need to remind myself of this every day:
“We don’t love so that we have great stories of happy endings. We love people because God loves them, and that is reason enough.”
-Kristin, Director of Staff Development and Programs