Secondly, in New York there is a definite fad of social activism, of serving orphans and poor. Of course that is ultimately great and so much better to have a fad of activism vs. laziness. But as I spent extended time with the kids in a place with many challenges, I felt how easily that kind of motivation fell away and the deep love of Christ really had to fuel me. To really love takes SO MUCH more guts, deep strength, tenacity, and unconditional love, which a cool fad cannot provide. It was important for me not to get caught into the fads of community service, but to stay focused on God's ways of service. To really be in the lives of the kids in such a way to help them process God's ways and help them not to sink in the destructive ways of the world--that is different. They are all on the brink of sinking--there is so much in their lives that pulls them, such brokenness in the community that they interact with--drug abuse, sex, alcohol, dreams of materialism. There is so much going against them as well--complicated health issues, emotional scars, and terrible educational systems. It makes for such a hopeless and empty soul-pit in their lives that they want to fill with everything they can find. It takes so much to really see their deeper needs and to try to help them set their precious hearts on The Rock. You really suffer greatly when you love kids (or anyone). Your heart breaks when theirs breaks, when they go the wrong ways, when they don't care about what is right. But you keep fighting for them. I am so glad God didn't give up on me when I was (and still sometimes am!) the same as them!
"I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings..." Philippians 3:10