Sunday, September 14, 2008

What Matters

"We are a non-profit Christian organization. I've never seen our Articles of Incorporation, but I'm told they specify that we are to be run as such, or disbanded. But what does a Christian organization look like in this world of desperate need?

I've seen the staff struggle with their faith - I've been through some difficult moments myself and I'm not the same person as a result. I've seen the staff wrestle with moral issues, with spiritual issues, with reasonable operations decisions that have a profound effect in the life of a client. They juggle work and other concerns in their life, they have families that aren't perfect and they have heartaches and soul pains just like everybody else. They go through the same issues with their co-workers and their workplace as anyone else, all the time surrounded by the unimaginable wreckage of so many lives.

Today I stood beside one of the other staff as he was verbally abused by a client. The invective that was heaped upon him was unbelievable. The bottom line was 'how can you call yourself a Christian'? It seems when the clients really want to strike at the heart of a staffer they attack their faith. It's as if they know that this is the most devastating thing they can say to a Christian staffer, and they save it for the moment they really want to wound deeply.

And it does wound deeply. It is emotionally devastating precisely because it is at the very heart of our motivation for being there: to express God's love. The fact that they recognize this - skewed as this may sound - is actually comforting. Somewhere, deep down inside, that client knew that staffer loved Christ. He picked the sharpest barb in his wit and went for the heart. But here's the point: he knew where his heart was.

Really, that's what matters."

~Excerpt from Today at the Mission by [rhymes with kerouac]

This is book gives wonderful insight to life and struggles in a homeless shelter, seasoned with compassion and humour despite the hardships. To learn more or order the book, click on the book cover on the sidebar. All proceeds from the book go to the shelter. To read more musings by [rhymes with kerouac], click on Today at the Mission in My Blog List.

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