Let’s rewind a few years and look at the 15 year old me. Far enough away from college that it still didn’t seem real, but close enough away that teachers and adults still seriously asked what you want to be when you grew up. I knew my answer without the usual shyness of a 15 year old southern girl. I wanted to be a counselor. I wanted to save the world with my… counseling. I wanted to sit in my lovely office and have semi-broken people come to my office. They would hear my “counseling”, turn their lives around and be happy normal people. Praising me and of course Jesus, but mainly me. I would become rich and famous from the counseling technique I developed, sell many books and use 10% of my richness to tithe church to further saving people with my…counseling. Fast-forward to today. I’m thirty-one and a social worker for the state. That’s a different story of how I changed from counseling to social work. To sum it up I like the hands on approach of social work instead of the theories of counseling. Every day I descend unto the boughs of Hell from 8:00am-4:30pm. You wouldn’t believe and I cannot fully describe the evil, hatred, greed I come in contact with and that s just from the institution I work for. The people, oh the people. The level of despair, gluttony and entitlement shoves any hope I had of “saving and fixing” these people down into a level its hard on a good day to see out of. I have literally stood in a yard while firemen broke down a door and the coroner had to carry my client out in a body bag. Her daughter said “Well Mom didn’t want to go on vacation so we left a bunch of food and locked her in the house. We thought she could go a few days without her diabetes and cancer medications.” Do those people go to jail? No they get lost in a sea of paperwork and forgotten about on a dusty desk. We have been forgotten. My department is the end of the line. It’s a dumping ground for criminals, homeless, sick mentally and physically. There is no funding, the placements are overcrowded and run by greedy people who look at check books to see if someone fits their criteria for placement. Our case loads are triple the size that is manageable. The despair will suck the breath from your soul. The darkness has won today and the Kingdom isn’t here.
In a little store front church on a balmy Saturday night few gather. All in attendance have been worn weary from fighting this Kingdom of darkness. As the Priest blesses the Host and the fatigued people cry “Holy!” a renewal washes from an unseen place, ever so slightly moving the flames that light up the pictures that tell their stories: The stories of a God breaking down the doors to Hell and breaking the prisoners free from a home they deserved, the story of a dirty carpenter dying on a cross for a people that will never comprehend and a story of a great Savior ascending to a throne with promises to come back for his people. A baby cries; an out of place noise during such a Holy ceremony. A window unto Heaven has been cracked and even a child can feel the presence and a desire for God. A baby cries for her mother and will not be satisfied as we cry unto God and will not be satisfied. The mother picks up the child in her free arm balancing her weight. In the other hand is the Gospel book, filled with Hope, high above her head they process out of the people behind the Cross. The weight of the child and awkwardness of the large leather bound book becomes no burden as the mother realizes this is her true calling in life. A calling to follow the cross where ever it leads, a calling to carry the weak and broken , a calling to always passage the One True Story on her lips and in her hands. Whispering “I love you, you are mine!” to the child, she joins the others voices singing “Holy! Holy! Holy! Though the darkness hide Thee, Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see. Only Thou art holy, there is none beside Thee, Perfect in Power, in love and purity.