By Naeisha Palmer
“Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were FILL IN THE BLANK like sheep without a shepherd.” –Matthew 9:36
*Distressed, dispirited, fainted, scattered, aimless, harassed, helpless, weary, bewildered, worn out, and confused.
Pick two. What are the people in your community like? Are they distressed and dispirited? Fainted and scattered? Bewildered and weary? Two words may not even completely describe the people God has called us to love.
That is one of the many things I learned this week. We know people who are going through a tough time. God has called us to meet the needs of those people.
I had an idea of what I wanted to blog about and started writing everything prior to this 5 days ago. I felt pulled by the spirit to use these specific verses but I could never figure out how to finish it. God knows the heart and nothing is done without His perfect timing. The events preceding this are all that happened today. Now and only now do I know why God laid those on my heart.
This week has been vacation bible school at Wilkens Avenue Mennonite Church. All week children of all ages have been coming to hear the word of the Lord. Monday through Thursday children are encouraged to come and have whole group worship followed by age appropriate small group lessons. Before I came to Baltimore someone from the church emailed the college team and asked everyone to pick which group of children they wanted to work with. Of course the day I received this email was the ONE day I was too busy and couldn’t check my email. So I was signed up for a class at random. 7- 9 year old boys…oh my favorite. L Not! I love working with 4-6 year old girls. I didn’t complain though, I just saw this experience as an opportunity to work with children. Every day I tried to be high energy even though it drained me and the boys mocked and laughed at me. I was having fun showing them how exciting church was.
On the last night of vacation bible school there was a cookout, however first we had worship. Through a series of random events such as children moving seats to sit with friends, not being able to see, other kids stealing seats, or talking with the children in the row ahead of me; I ended the service sitting with a student in my class named Douglas. I normally wouldn’t have sat with him because he is so well behaved, however another colleague of mine (also doing the Baltimore Urban Program) was sitting on his other side. At the end of worship we were joking with him and letting him know he needed to smile more.
Jesus showed up in that moment in the most unexpected way. The little boy went from laughing and smiling with us to telling us about the bad things he had done. The next thing I knew I was asking him if believed that Jesus died on the cross to forgive him of all the wrong he had done. He said he believed and we guided him through the sinner’s prayer. We ended the experience with my colleague, and another woman from the church praying over him.
So I ask you, to think about who we are called to be a witness to. They may not be our first choice or whom we are most comfortable with, in my case 4-6 year old girls. They may be confused and feeling helpless such as my friend, Douglas. However, I truly believe that if our hearts are open to God’s calling he will put us in the right place at the right time to minister.
“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” -Matthew 9:37
If we are open to God’s calling then their wont seem as if there are too few workers.