I was afraid of losing my purpose, of purposelessness. I was afraid of too much suffocating small talk this winter at work. “Nice”, facade shrouded Christian people who wouldn’t let me in versus the “bad”, crazy, hurting, needy ones at the people place I’ve had to leave behind. That is what I was going to write about last week. I had the words scrawled in a notebook. It wasn’t my best post ever, but it would have done. But I didn’t get a chance to type it, because I was too busy doing more important things. Instant messaging is amazing. It means I haven’t had to leave the people behind.
Go to bed they tell me. Go to sleep. Get off the computer. And I do. I always leave before I want to, but sometimes it’s hard to balance the necessary things that don’t mean anything to me, and (what some people would call) the unnecessary things that matter beyond words. The joke at our house has always been “I can’t get off! Someone is wrong on the internet.” but that doesn’t even begin to compare to my reason now. “I can’t get off. Someone is hurting, needy, broken, desperate, seeking God…on the internet.” I thought for a while that I wanted to be a psychiatrist. I think I even talked about it on here. I decided not to because it’s a lot of time and money to get the degree, and with it I wouldn’t even be able to help the ones I want to anyways. The ones I want to help can’t or won’t pay. But just because I’ve decided against that career doesn’t mean that the reason I was attracted to it is gone. The people still need love and hope. I still feel the deep need to be the ear they need. No one wants to be alone.
Another thing I said I was afraid of in my old post was living for the weekend. Not in the typical sense, but still. I’m afraid of surviving the workweek, not really living, always waiting for the next time I get to see the people. The next time I get to be Jesus. This is what I live for now–to love on the people. This is what fulfills me even though I know (and am becoming ever more aware of) the fact that it isn’t me or my words that can heal them. I can’t heal, but I can be an arrow. I live to point them to the one who can help. I live for this, which is why the last few years before I went to the people place were so hard. I was purposeless, living in a bubble of Christian “friends” when what I really wanted to do was reach the broken. I am terrified of being that again.
It’s a huge responsibility. Which words to say? I represent Christ, and if I flub up there are consequences. It’s hard sometimes because there are so many, and I can’t help them all. When they all message me at once, and I want to give each the attention they deserve it can get overwhelming. But I’m learning how to balance. I’m learning how to balance four conversations at once. I’m learning how to balance the annoying necessities like earning money, and the deeply meaningful like loving on other humans. Like accepting them, embracing them, and being the ear they need. They’re not weak, they’re just human. We all need a listening ear.
So whatever I do, wherever I go, I don’t want anything ever to stop me from this. This is my purpose. This is my passion. This is my reason to live.