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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mary

Last weekend in all the hustle and bustle of my own life, I did not forget about a promise I made back in March. On our build day in Tupelo, I met a woman named Mary. She was finishing her last semester of college while taking care of her aging Mom, helping look after her grandson and I imagine lots of other activities. She's not a traditional student nor does her life look anything like mine but for that one day, we were a team. She helped me and another rider lay the floor in her Mom's kitchen.

Meeting Mary was a blessing. I think that sometimes its dangerous to help others because we can start to see ourselves as better because our we don't need "help like that." We also must walk the delicate balance of not letting our personal cultural norms dictate how we treat others. It seems like there are two options for helping others, to see them as people or projects.

My natural instinct is to choose projects. Its not as messy that way. There is less entanglement of the heart but its not appropriate. Its cold and judgmental. I admit all of that flutter through my head on that day in Tupelo. But within seconds of meeting Mary and her family, that all fell away. I stopped living in the confines of my head and let my heart lead.

I found myself talking to a lovely woman who was doing the best she could for her family. She knew about the work her Mom's house needed but didn't have the funds or the time to do the work. That's why I love the Fuller Center. That day we stepped in and helped fill in the gaps. And Mary was right there beside us.

Last weekend, Mary graduated from college and I promised I would pray for her. I would pray for her future and that of her family. I would pray she would find a job in her field and take steps towards her goals. You should have seen her face when she talked about graduation and the opportunities it would bring. 

Remembering her is another reminder to me that God is so much bigger than I am. That people are more important than projects, even if it gets messy. There's also great joy to be had. Not because of my work but because of the work of Christ in our lives. Meeting
Mary was a blessing because I looked into the face of a woman who is living proof of that. 

There are people like that all around us, if we are paying attention. I know I need to starting looking around more. And I will start by continuing to pray for Mary and her family. Will you join me?