Every year my coworkers and I do a community service project. Our company gives us paid time off to do this so we usually take a full day right around the holidays. This year we participated in Operation Christmas Child, run by Samaritan’s Purse.
I knew of Operation Christmas Child but knew very little about Samaritan’s Purse or exactly who the OCC program served. So I was thrilled when I heard we had to go through an orientation before we would be led to our work stations. The 10-15 minute orientation consisted of a short message from the organization’s leader followed by a description of and instructions on each workstation.
Oh…it also included a lot of what I affectionately refer to as “Jesus Jamming”. That’s when I come to feel that an organization or individual is jamming Jesus down my throat.
And these people were jamming! Strike 1.
Then I discovered that ALL of their ministry was outside of the U.S. We were packing shoe boxes for children all around the world while there were children in the U.S. who might not have a Christmas. Strike 2.
So here I am, all confused and confuddled and following everyone like a lemming to the sea, thinking the whole time, “OMG what am I going to do? How can I do this?”
Let me get something straight. I don’t have a problem with Jesus. After all, I’m a Christian. I LOVE Jesus. And God. And while we’re at it Mary and Joseph as well. I am not, however, a religious person. In fact I really am not comfortable with organized religion at all. I am however, deeply and profoundly spiritual. My faith is very important to me and I rely on it to guide me through my life.
So it’s the bottom of the ninth, the bases are loaded and the count is three and two when the leader of the local group invites the chaplain to the front of the room so that we can “pray over the boxes”. Great…more Jesus Jamming.
As I’ve said before, God has been known to speak to me on occasion. Well…that is when I remember to “Be Still” and listen. Unfortunately he usually has to throw a brick my way for me to actually get the message.
He threw one of those.
As I laid my hand on those boxes and the chaplain started praying, I was filled with the Holy Spirit (or something anyway) and my heart swelled like the Grinch after Cindy Lou Hoo gave him his gift. Tears sprung to my eyes and I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that I was exactly where I was supposed to be and doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing so I should probably just shut the fuck up and get to work.
So I did. It was one of the most fulfilling and fun days in recent memory for me and I know we’ll do it again next year.
Message received Lord. I don’t need to know why or how or agree with the politics but if you want me there then there I will go.