Nursing affords me a lot of time to read, and frequently what I read are blogs. One blog I’ve been introduced to has really got me thinking about how I bring the Kingdom of God to others, especially this one about interacting with the poor.
Right now, my audience for the Kingdom of God is one.
I show him love with frequent diaper changes, long nursing sessions, and silly faces. Some days, my audience of one is enough, but then I realize there is a whole world out there – full of somebody else’s “one.”
Taking care of Henry, Ted, and my house is good, but I know that this insular existence is not what God has in mind for me. He wants me to reach out and be kind, be friends with people unlike me.
And that is where it stops for me – the knowing, but not the doing. I am fortunate to live in a diverse neighborhood, a neighborhood we chose because we could get to know people who live much differently than we do. But here we are, 6 months later, and we’ve only met the affluent couple who own their house (they are very nice). I don’t know anyone in either of the apartment complexes across the street. Now, you might say, “Give yourself a break! You just had a baby. You’ve been adjusting.” Well, I am still adjusting and will always be adjusting, so I don’t think that is a good excuse any more.
I just don’t know where to start.
For a while, I searched online to find places where I can use my gifts conveniently with the plus one of a baby. But after reading Jessica’s blog, I’ve realized that I need to cultivate a life of “interruptibility.” A life made vulnerable to new relationships and the needs of those people, not something I was necessarily planning to give.
Yet, I sometimes hope I can join a very organized, very regimented effort to help others. Something that can be done on the first Saturday of the month that doesn’t require much of my time or cause me any heartache. Something that still keeps me separate from others, safe in my little world where my biggest concern is laundry. Something that doesn’t require me to involve my heart in the lives of others. I like things planned and organized, something to make me feel like I’m doing something to help others. And I think that’s the problem. I don’t really want to help the poor. I want to feel like I am.
Believe me, I was very disturbed to learn that this is the truth. But it is. True. My desire to help the poor is about me and not them. It is about “should do” and not “want to do.” It is about pride and not love.
So, how do I make it about love?
For me, making a relationship with someone, being kind to them, being their friend and allowing them to be mine is probably the best way to make it not about me. But then, my introverted little self thinks, “I can’t just go talk to someone and introduce myself into their lives.” And I hear a whisper from God, saying, “Exactly. You can’t do that, but I can.”
I’m still afraid and have no plan. But maybe that’s exactly as it should be.