Karen Gibson: Doing God’s work
As I drove away Tuesday from Sunset Meadows 2, after our Love INC fundraiser meeting for the annual pig roast on Sept. 17, I thought “Oh my gosh!” (OMG for those texters out there) I have a lot of contacts to make, which is another way of saying I have a lot of work to do. And so, I hastily headed towards home. As I drove along, the words ran through my mind like the print at the bottom of a television screen, like the one you see at my bank where they are reporting the day’s stock market prices, “DOING GOD’S WORK.”
“Doing God’s work” perhaps may sound a little too righteous. Doing God’s work may also sound like a martyr. At one time I did a lot of volunteer work out of the martyr syndrome. But I believe I have moved past that attitude. I guess my journey has taken me to places and situations where I could never have dreamed I’d be going. And so I have come to realize I have a calling to help facilitate the needs of others. At one point in my journey I realized it was my responsibility.
That was probably when I got over the martyr syndrome, and started considering the scripture verse that I use a lot of times for the authority to do what I do: Matthew 25: 31-46. This scripture text has warnings and predictions included in it about the way the world will be when Jesus returns to Earth one day. But what I take from this text is the reminder about what I am to be doing right now? How am I to respect my fellow human being? How am I to care for my neighbor?
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Matt hew 25: 34-36 NRSV.
How am I to show love?
How often have you had someone call and ask if you are a food bank or could they come and get some food? “I’ve been laid off from work for over a year, and I’m having a hard time paying my rent this month.” “I’m on my way back home to Oklahoma, California or Michigan, and I just need a tank of gas, two nights fees at KOA or a place to stay.” Maybe you have never had to decide what to tell someone when he or she called with one of these problems.
There is a Taizé song by Jacques Berthier and the Community of Taizé entitled, “Live in Charity,” while the Latin title is “Ubi Caritas.” The words are from ninth century Latin with a scripture reference of 1 Corinthians 13: 2-8. The words are a reminder of how I should live: “Live in charity and steadfast love, live in charity; God will dwell with you.”
You know when I said I had a calling to do God’s work? That was just when the light bulb came on. The calling was always there. The calling to serve and to do God’s work is there for everyone. If you want to know where you can serve just give me a call.
Before I arrived home after that meeting, I thought it was a good reminder for Labor Day weekend. And so I marveled. I marveled. What should I be celebrating: laboring for God or myself?