Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Living a life that is More than Useless

From a young age my parents have taught me about living life in ministry. As a family, we left a life in an up and coming suburb of Indianapolis to move to the area known by law enforcement as the sex offender capital of Indianapolis. I  went from a top 10 Indiana school district to going to a 20 student school with an assortment of children who could not succeed in public schools, mostly due to the such poor rated school district. We went from living life in quiet confines of suburbia to learning to live life in the most dangerous neighborhood in Indianapolis.

At the age of 13 my life got turned up side down.  We made the move to downtown Indianapolis and all I had known about the safety and stability of our every day life was shaken. I think though looking back on my life this has become a defining moment/era for me. All that I was comfortable with was taken away and I was pushed out of my comfort zone. Knowing now that my parents did this for so much more than just the purpose of getting a bigger house. For them it was moving to the city to live among those they were doing ministry with. We moved in hopes of being a light.

My parents gave up a lot in that time. My dad went from working at a corporation to working at a homeless shelter. My mom began working for the church. They both took on leading the school and trying to help students with no motivation be motivate for an education. They took on the role of foster parenting in this time as well. With each of these, they taught me and my siblings to be light in any circumstance that we were put in.

For me this meant:

* Getting lice on a regular basis because we were taught that anyone was welcome in our cars, home and classrooms no matter what little critters were found in their hair.
* Giving up the extras and normalcy of high school to go to the church school
*Befriending friends who were really broken- struggling with their sexuality, drug use, abuse and neglect.
* Using my senior year to finish high school part time and teach Kindergarten part time to a child who suffered from cognitive delays and emotional disabilities.
* Forgiving foster sisters who lied, stole, threatened and physically harmed me.
* teaching Sunday school to kids only a couple years younger than me.
* Learning to live in community at a church in the heart of the city. Preparing and sharing meals with the drug users, prostitutes, homeless, fatherless, broken and assortment of others who came in the door.
* Giving up family time and resources to ensure that families in the church could remain together.

This is just a small picture of how my parents taught me what ministry was. They taught me that ministry is really in the being and doing. It is being the hands and feet of Jesus. Loving the broken because in reality we are the broken too.

This is the biggest reason I have chosen the career I have chosen and why I choose to teach Sunday School every Sunday to a room full of chatty little girls. This is what ministry looks like in my life right now. Being the hands and feet of Jesus where he has me right now. Showing love and compassion to my chatty Sunday School girls, my coworkers, my employees and any one else I do life with on a daily basis. Right now this is my mission field.

No comments:

Post a Comment