the dust on my shoulders

weary: physically or mentally exhausted by hard work, exertion, strain.

I think I can safely say I am at a peak of weariness. After a long December filled with blessings and service, the new year celebration was to be a close to a beautifully orchestrated year, filled with growth, trial, pain and gladness. Oh the memories.

December. A month where acts of service are at their peak and celebration is everywhere I over extended every single second of the month that I possibly could. As time marched on we drew nearer and nearer to the precious celebration of our Lord, what joy! By the time the day came I was done. Physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally done. What was left of my half nurtured self I rolled together for one last week. As if the first 3 weeks of the month hadn’t been jam packed, I now had friends in town and people to see. Here we go a few more days and then breath. Then it came, the new year. It was glorious, an all night celebration. Love was in the room as we counted down. As the clock struck mid night I literally could feel the dust roll off my shoulders. A year’s work was finished. This was a time of Jubilee. My heart was filled.

Less then 24 hours later I find myself half a sleep at an interrogation table. This to me is far to familiar.

12:45 called. Brushed teeth. Dressed. 1:30 am out of the cold, into the lab. Brain spins. Routine. Ok Manila folder. Open the stainless steel cabinet. English or Spanish? Those wretched things. Holding them is like a silent implication of the coming hours of work ahead of me. I need a case file and a badge number please. I haven’t had enough sleep. Doze off on the table. Then they arrive. Game time. Every nerve in my body knows it’s task. Just keep me awake long enough to bring peace into the stale room. The nurse asks a series of questions, I listen quietly, nod, we hold each others hand. They have the exam. I split a coke with the detective. Off to another room. More questions. I give a little speech and a pat on the shoulder. I whisper “You’re so brave, I am really glad you did this, everything is going to be ok” then out the door I trot to my car, clock reads 5:07 its two minutes fast. The sun is starting to declare the day. Sleep, dream, nightmare. Up go to work. END SCENE.

This is my other world. If you don’t know what I am talking about that’s normal. This was a SART. Look it up. I am not saying all this to explain my pro-bono social work position or to plead for your pity. I don’t need it. If anything pity the victim. I say all this because I am learning.

Learning to strive.
This is me now. Liz: compassionate advocate, activist, serving in the death of Christ to bring Him glory. As my worlds get blended and seconds of my life get stolen by destruction I repeatedly learn one thing: this is what I was made for. This is unique. This is a hell of a lot harder then I bargained for.

I am so selfish. I am so prideful. I am so unloving and judgmental. No really I am. I am awful. I honestly cant walk into a room with a victim of violence and not stare at the clock waiting to be released.

There is this one thing that overwhelms me: Compassion. I know its a divine gift to have empathy. I have a lot of it. Only because I am God’s tool. Not because I am special. I can take no glory for any good thing that I do because in and of myself I am nothing.

This Compassion has been loaned to me to help me LOVE the world. So what more can I do then give up every part of my being to do that. Did Christ not do that for us, but even more than I could ever do.

So here is my breath- whether it be in my bed resting, in laughter with loved ones, in a room weeping with a victim or in a sanctuary of worship. God its yours. This body is yours. May it bring you Glory.

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