Today, smiled at him.
I laughed at her joke.
I asked how his night was, and then I really listened.
Over the past four years, we've lived and worked and been surrounded by Bible Camp. It was wonderful. The encouragement and connections and easy conversation about faith... it was like another world. A delightful Christian bubble.
Which is just one more reason why we came here.
Living in Colorado didn't just mean a change of scenery- from cornfields to mountains- or a change of job, or home.
It meant a change in the people we're around.
Honestly, that's been the biggest change, I think. Instead of being around self-professing, out loud for the Lord Christians every moment of my days, I am working with young men (and one young woman), most of whom don't have a foundation of faith. At all.
And they've lived lives of hardship and hurt, of being put down and worn out and beaten.
Enter me and my wonderful husband into the mix, with a fresh Bible-Camp-y glow about us, walking into a place where we are (quite literally) the only church my new co-workers will experience this week- this month- this year.
The fields are white for harvest... and we are the workers.
But how do we do this?
I'm still not sure, really. The pressure to be perfect, to have the right answers and the right things to say, the feeling that I'm going to mess it up and be a poor representation of my God... all those weigh on me. What if I say something insensitive, or do something wrong? What if this jar of clay is too weak to hold the Truth of His love?
My husband has already had conversations about it- the big faith question. A previous job at a Bible Camp really opens up the floor for that.
A guy, call him Mike, asked if Trevor if he was a "big church-goer." And then Mike said it was cool that he was a Christian... just don't push it down his throat.
And that was the end of it.
But I'm learning there's more to it. I think I knew that there was more to it, but I'm really experiencing it for the first time in my adult life.
Mike talked to me about the Bible today before he went home. He said that he wished there was some sort of overview he could read because it was confusing to him. I made some suggestions of books he could read. We laughed about tricky translations and all those phrases that don't make sense in our common vernacular anymore.
I'm pretty sure it was because I smile at him.
Because he sees me care for customers and care for my fellow employees and care for my husband.
And of course, it's because I've been praying (hard) that his calloused heart, roughened up by bad circumstances and unfortunate relationships, would be softened so he can heal.
But in this place, in this time, I think the smiling is important. The cookies are important. The joking and caring and listening are important.
I still fully believe that I am going to screw this thing up. Especially with the super crazy busy time looming on the horizon, I feel like there's a good chance I'll lose my temper. But this treasure I carry, this one I don't deserve and didn't even know to ask for, is strong and powerful despite the fragile jar it's in.
And the small things? They do make a difference.
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