This week I was gently reminded of a never changing truth about the work I am greatly privileged to be a part of at Cross & Crown.
This summer has been crazy. Crazy in a good way. Crazy in a, “wow, there’s a whole lot of people here every day,” sort of way.
We have seven interns this summer. We have had interns in the past but never more than two at one time. One of the interns is a college student. Two of the interns will be juniors in high school next year. Two of the interns will be freshmen in college next year. And, last, but certainly not least, two of the interns are college students and from the neighborhood. Which, we think, is pretty great.
One of my favorite characteristics of Cross & Crown is that it is a mission for the people of the neighborhood, run by people OF the neighborhood. The clothing room, food distribution, prayer room and some of the other larger functioning ‘ministries’ of Cross & Crown have been run by people of the neighborhood for several years but this summer is the first time Rock Island, primarily our elementary program, has been fortunate enough to have prior Rock Island graduates organize, coordinate and run a portion of our youth activities.
Along with the interns we have our normal gathering of youth from the neighborhood. There are a handful of the kiddos who get up bright and early every morning (well, early for a kid on summer break) to come and lend a helping hand packing boxes of food, organizing donations of clothes and clean laundry, amongst other things.
My point being, there’s mucho activity and bodies every which way you turn.
If I’m not careful it’s very easy for me to get caught up in all the activity. All the noise, all the motion, all the kids, all the seizing women falling on the stairs (yes, that happened this past week). There’s plenty of “stuff” to do. Tasks to be done. There are continuous needs of people to be met. Legitimate needs. Never ending needs.
If I’m not careful I can loose focus of my primary objective. Very easily I concentrate my efforts on the task to be completed, the job to be done, the need to be met or the work to be done and less on the person with the need.
I think meeting the immediate need will satisfy the person. Maybe it will. For a short time. Until there’s a new need.
Here was my reminder this week…
Yes, money, food, clothes, education, ect. these are all helpful items that are greatly needed. But, they aren’t the single, most impactful thing we can offer.
I know what you’re thinking. Offering relationship/friendship to someone is time consuming. You’re right. It might even make you think that throwing some money at those in ‘need’ doesn’t sound so bad after all because offering a relationship/friendship is a liiiiiiittle more of a commitment. That, also, is true.
Thinking something like this doesn’t make you a bad person. It just makes you a shallow person. I’m kidding. Kinda.
All I’m saying is that, for me, sometimes I need a reminder of what’s really impactful in changing someone’s life and not just some short-term fix and this video did it for me.
Posted by Luke