Written by: Katrina Bitar
Something that we discuss often during the YES experience is how to allow God’s Kingdom to break into this world. When I let go of my “I” and focus on creating a “we,” God’s ideal for this world shows up. When we come together in love and share food with a stranger, when we play board games with 50 new friends at a nursing home, we create Kingdom moments.
These particular types of experiences are interrupted for now, so our energy should be directed towards how we can serve today. When we seek to focus on fulfilling the needs of others, all are served and all are filled. We become our most true selves when every choice we make recognizes that: my life is not my own. How I care for myself deeply matters for me and it matters for you.
Mindfulness of the the other is mindfulness of God. Seeking the other is seeking God. Division in any way is not part of God’s design. If there was ever a time to creatively build bridges amidst our walls, this is it. We currently can’t escape the opportunity we have in THIS moment to be mindful and aware of our common experience, our common humanity. Every person in every country is subject to the same virus. If our eyes and hearts are open, this virus that threatens our physical bodies may actually be a cure for a virus that invades our hearts every day…the need for self-preservation.
Our plans have been changed. Our routines have been interrupted. Our social lives are different or have disappeared. Because we are commonly affected in different ways, we need to show mercy to ourselves and others. Surrendering and embracing this new level of flexibility will allow us to see each other and build the necessary bridges. I may be struggling with anxiety and you may be struggling with hunger. Let’s seek awareness of what others are experiencing and allow God’s Kingdom to show up in this world the way it needs to in this moment.
I: have been interrupted. We: have lost our jobs.
I: am stuck at home. We: are stuck in abusive homes.
I: am distancing myself. We: are ER nurses.
I: don’t have the groceries I need. We: don’t have grocery stores in our neighborhoods.
I: can’t go on vacation. We: can’t pay our bills.
I: am worried about my health. We: don’t have access to doctors.
I: will likely recover. We: have diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure, and are in your 70’s.
I: am trying to preserve my plans. We: are trying to pay our rent.
I: am concerned. We: are terrified.
When we allow the things that break God’s heart to break ours, hearts are mended. Let’s allow our common experience to bring our unique realities to mind and to prayer, so that we can allow God’s Kingdom to break into this world and bring joy and healing.
Youth Equipped to Serve is a program of FOCUS North America that creates opportunities for youth to engage with the poverty of their city, equipping young people to become servant leaders in their own communities. Learn more on the YES program website: www.yesnorthamerica.org