Over the past month or so, there has been a lot of talk about "civilizing" our guests among some of the team members here at the Inn. There's been this feeling of lack of respect from the guests that has seem to gotten the better of a few of the team members and it appears that there's going to be a serious overhaul to remedy this.
It got me thinking, though, about the sign on our door that says, "Smile, Jesus is at the door." Sure, we're called to see God in those we serve, but if those we serve always treat us respectfully, it's so much easier to see God in them and to smile. It's easy to be patient when people are being patient with the services we provide. It's easy to smile and speak calmly when everyone's listening to you. But what happens when you're faced with the adversity of someone who is yelling in your face? Or starting fights with everyone they see? Or are, for the fourth time that week, asking for a token so they can go to their program or meeting?
I think this is when we show God what we're made of. This is when our true humanity comes out. You get tired, you get frustrated, you've exhausted all your coping mechanisms, yet you're still faced with the challenges of daily life. So what happens then? This is our time to shine! I think our growth of faith and spirituality comes when we are challenged and it is then, when we're crawling on our knees and mustering up the strength for one more step, that we grow in the grace and love of God.
So I do agree that we should be met with the same respect with which we profess to treat our guests, but we also need to recognize our own need for the challenge of faith and love and use each of these confrontations as a gift and chance to grow.
The past few weeks have been full of fun and excitement! We've each taken various trips home for various reasons. Currently Amanda is in Syracuse visiting family and taking a much-needed break from the Inn. Noe was home recently to attend the wedding of his girlfriend's sister. I was home just after him to recruit at Saint Anselm (with some success, I might say). We hosted the annual Spring Fling children's party with the help of Nazareth Academy. We had 20 children ranging in age from 2-11 and had lots and lots of fun! (I would post pictures but wasn't able to take any because of my lack of camera) The following weekend the team was on their Easter retreat, leaving Noe, Amanda and I to run the show. Things went smoothly, as can be expected, but we were certainly exhausted from all the work of the weekend!
My work continues at the Urban Center and I'm loving that part of my ministry more and more! I've gotten to spend a lot of quality time with Brother John, something that many people, even team members, do not get to enjoy! While taking care of some little things around the Urban Center, I also get to pick his brain for some social work-y type tips and information, really preparing myself for the fall!
I am also actively seeking employment in the Philly area for the fall! I know this is a tough time of year to be job-hunting but I'm pretty hopeful that things will work out... they always do!
And as I type this post now, I am sitting on my screened-in back porch with our pond and fountain bubbling beside me, absorbing the hidden beauty that is Kensington. There are roses blooming, our garden is thriving, and there's an ever-so-slight breeze that keeps it just cool enough to need a sweatshirt... my favorite kind of weather! God is good, that's for sure!
I hope this post finds you all well! May the newness of Spring and all its growth and rejuvenation enlighten your hearts!