“The kind of hard work I have chosen…”

by Laura Fawcett July 2, 2014 A

An Urban Youth Worker’s Meditation on Isaiah 58 verses 6-14.

This is something I wrote several years ago when I found myself in an inner city youth centre, struggling. Wondering why the kind of fast that I had chosen was quite so difficult, mundane and, frankly, so real.

Is not this the kind of hard work you have chosen: 
to loose the chains of injustice, helping young people discover their potential and break what holds them back from achieving it?

Is it not to share your time with those who turn up late, and to provide those with somewhere to go, play football and talk – at every unsocial hour — when you see them drunk, stoned, or threatening others to talk to them, and to remember that they are just the same and as precious as you?

Then you will realise that they are not deliberately trying to make your life hell for no reason. You will begin to like them, they will probably come and see you a bit more and perhaps sort out some of the crap in their lives, and you might sort out some of the crap in your own. 
Your funders will quickly appear – and disappear; 
but the Lord has got your back.

You will call every friend and foe for help and the Lord will answer. You will cry out; ‘Why am I still doing this?’ and He will reply ‘Because I am here.’

If you continue to do away with discrimination, challenging poverty and politics which oppress, and if you spend yourselves on behalf of these communities, then your light will continue to shine through long winter nights and through long summer days, surpassing strip lighting, spotlights and street lights.

The Lord will guide you always, he will satisfy you and strengthen you, and will never give up.

This is the real up-cycling and re-cycling of the old into the new; you will be called Repairer of graffiti walls, Restorer of streets that are safe for young people to walk down.

Just remember to take time, to turn off your phone, your emails, and leave work behind. This day is holy because it reminds you that all this work does not rest on your shoulders; it is God’s work, not yours, the Lord’s plan: His chaos that you are invited to join.

Then you will know God works His miracles in you for His purpose. And you will know joy in the darkness. Your soul will soar beyond the heights of the skyscrapers and you will know that your inheritance is greater than the wealth of all the city.