One of my biggest problems is a lack of communication, just ask my mother, it is her number one complaint about me. In an effort to deal with it, I wrote this to try to discern why I am this way.
I know that there are many things to share, many lives that are touched in our 60+ hours on campus each week. Why don’t I share more?
Part of being a pastor is keeping confidence. When people share about issues we don’t even share that we talked with them so that we don’t come near breaching that confidence. When we share issues, even if we change names, others can know about those same issues. In an effort to protect people and keep their trust so they will communicate I don’t share even the issue.
Some of the details that we deal with on a daily basis are not fit for public notice. Dealing with divorce, suicide, death, promiscuity, jail, drugs and abandonment are not pretty issues. The good news is that we are able to help people walk through these and other issues. It takes a lot of time and just when you feel like there is a breakthrough there can be a set back. Fortunately we are able to love people no matter how they are doing. It is always a blessing to be called on when there is a need.
Last night when we came home it looked like there was a party at our house. A couple of the cars belong to students who need a place to live and live with us. But sometimes there are people who just need to “get away” and they are always free to come and stay with us. It is a nice surprise to see them greet us when we walk in after a long day at work.
It is difficult for me to “toot my own horn”. It is far easier to talk about what others are doing, like the students who helped provide a library for two schools in Africa. They raised funds, gathered books and shipped them over for the children who don’t have any books. They have great hearts and love to give.
I like Matthew 6: 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
It fits who I am and the way that God made me. I would much rather go out and do something and spend time with someone helping them rather then telling others what is happening. There is something about having your actions speak for themselves. Even if no one notices, God does.
Many times the progress is over time and I see each little step that people are making. It becomes hard to share the big picture of “this is the before”, to “this is where they are now”. One of our biggest joys is hearing from the men and women who have graduated, move on into the world, get married and have children, call us back years later telling us how great God is and how much they appreciated their time in Chi Alpha. The initial change is great, but the lasting change is awesome. Especially when they are able to touch others along the way.
Even though my communication skills are lacking, the work continues. Lives are being touched, hearts are being healed, and hope is being shared. One recent relationship involves a man who was a leader in campus crusade but since has thrown out all of his spiritual life. He became frustrated with the legalism and rules without the relationship. Unfortunately he threw out everything. We have been working with him to help restore his relationship with Jesus. Reminding him of the love that God has for him and giving room for the Holy Spirit to work in him and draw him back to that relationship. It is amazing to me that he is drawn to us and often seeks us out to spend time with us. It is lives like that that God has laid upon our hearts, to love those who are frustrated and feel like they don’t fit into God’s kingdom and often throw up their hands in despair and give up. Jesus loves them and not only desires to work in them, but through them.
Thank you for all who stand with us, sometimes by faith. You don’t always hear about the daily victories or heartaches but know that you are a part of the team that is making a difference in the lives of students and staff. Your touch starts at CMU and goes into all the world-literally!
God Bless you! I pray for you every time I see your name. Your gift and prayers keep us going. Thank you. Please forgive this fault, I am working on it. I just wish it were my only one.
Professor whose unborn child has a heart defect and facing many surgeries
Student dealing with death of brother
Student released from jail with no place to live and no job
Our leadership team as we plan for next year
For Jesus to reveal Himself to the many students and staff who need Him!