The truth is I can’t pretend that I get it.
When I came into work this morning I came into a (relatively) quiet office and waved at the kids from the daycare as I walked by. I didn’t have to change their diapers or deal with their feelings or listen to their parents suggest, encourage, or complain. My only co-worker today is my husband. He has not asked about my faith. He has not invited me to anything that would challenge my values. He is not hard to love. I have spent the day reading God’s Word as I prepare a sermon and talking to His people as they have stopped in to talk or ask a question or get some support. My work and my faith mingle at every turn. They are one and the same and that is obvious to everyone. The God thing is what I’m supposed to be doing, and so I do it.
So I can’t pretend that I get what it’s like to work where you work. I can’t pretend to understand what it’s like when your Christian values clash with the policies of the place where you work, and you are left with a dilemma. I can’t pretend to understand what it’s like to be the only person of faith in your office or at your school or in your restaurant. I can’t pretend to feel a constant tug away from God as you try to hold on to what you learned yesterday in church, when it seemed so much easier.
I can’t pretend to get it, but I can tell you that I see you.
I see you trying, brothers and sisters, and I see that it can be hard. I see that you are eager to take your faith out of the boxes and bring it right where you are, but it’s easier said than done. I see that your co-workers can drain your energy and you get tired of having to be the nice one. I see that you are ready to throw your hands up some days with policies that make your hands feel tied. I see that there are just days that you are tired with the work you are doing protecting children, teaching young people, counseling the hurting, healing the sick, balancing budgets, painting walls, rallying for justice, standing in the unemployment line – and wondering if it matters at all. I hear you when you say that you long to really “work for God.” I see the struggle to see what you do as ministry.
I see you, and I encourage you.
Hang in there. God is not far away; in fact, He is in all. You are living in ministry. You are part of The Story. You are more than a lay person. You are a servant of God, and today God is ready to use you.
I anoint you and I send you in His name – into your cubicle, your office, your nursing home, your hospital, your neighbourhood, your school, your salon, your work site, your route, your child care centre, your gym, your studio, your laboratory, your store, your restaurant, your museum, your factory, your airport, your truck, your call centre, your bank, your home: go, and be used to show God’s love, justice and hope to the place where you work. You are already working for Him. You are in ministry.
You are a Kingdom Bearer.