Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Quotes to live by...and hang onto by your fingernails.

"You have not called us to be successful, you have called us to be faithful."
"If you do not love your brother whom you do see, how can you love God whom you do not see?"
"Love until it hurts."

Not "until it's going to hurt, and then hold back." Not, "until love isn't returned, and then let yours become anger." Until it does hurt. And then? Keep right on loving - and yes, keep on hurting from it. From the lack of any return, from the pain you can see but can't, aren't allowed to, heal or even comfort. From the knowing that all, all, you can do is show a path. You can't lead anyone down it, you can't make them want to walk it. You can only show, and watch others go right on their own way. Maybe in twenty years, long after you've passed out of that person's life, something will come of it. But you'll never know about it this side of Heaven. If we are to follow Christ in everything, we also are to follow the Christ who wept over Jerusalem - who poured out so much love, spent Himself in every way, and was about to give up His very life...but could not gather that city to Himself; could not win the love of its people.

So, today, I'm tired. I'm discouraged, yes. I let myself lose my temper with the children, and I'm annoyed at myself for that. Every day at that camp is a repeat of the day that went before, and a preview of the day to come. I work with the older girls - and many of them are here for the last time. Whatever seeds might have been planted in them, they certainly have not sprouted. And this is the last year we have with them, at least in terms of the camp. Some sign...some indication that we've wrought some small change...would be nice. But there's nothing of the sort, they're going to leave on Friday exactly the same as when they started camp. Just as angry, just as insolent, just as incapable of trust or respect. Just as closed to God and to any world beyond their streets. No different at all, no more interested in anything that would work a difference in them.

4 comments:

Christie said...

How discouraging... I can, to a certain degree, empathize with the utter frustration of trying your best, and only observing changes for the worse. Of course, teaching in Catholic school is different from the environment where you are working. I so admire you!

Just think, later on God may (or may not) finally be allowed to work in them (like you said), but at this moment you are allowing Him to work in you, which is all He asks. Right now may be more about you growing. Then later when they are ready, God can use the seeds you've planted to challenge the children to grow as well.
I'm praying for you!

E.S. said...

Well, think of it this way. Would they have been any better off it you had not tried? You gave it your best, and since you can't really see inside someone to know what they are thinking, maybe there is something there that you don't see. You're tired - give yourself a bit of rest, and things'll seem brighter.

To quote a particular movie:

"Nothing ever changed."
"You changed."

Margaret Catherine said...

Humbug!

E.S. said...

Oh, is it time for THAT treatment?