At the little private school where I teach music, things are happening. Serious, hard things.
One of our teachers had cancer a few years ago. Apparently, it’s back, and not looking good. Another teacher, pregnant for the first time, lost her baby in the course of a medical procedure. As if that’s not enough, this girl’s (she seems young to me) husband seems like a bit of a jerk.
Among the students, a few families are on the verge of splitting up. A few other families have split in the past year, making this Christmas particularly difficult.
The promise of Christmas is that God, who really should be distant because of our failure, has decided to be with us. So he came to be physically with us for awhile, and he gave hope and new life to people, and then when he left, he told us to do the same thing… to offer hope and new life.
For years as a pastor, I told my people to go make a difference. To be light in their workplaces, to bring hope there. There’s no manual for doing that – it’s just a matter of showing up, listening, and praying a lot. The moments come, and then you have to jump on those moments.
Now, after undergoing a life change, two-thirds of my work is in secular settings, including the little school I just mentioned. So I’m faced with the challenge of actually doing what I told my people to do. So right now, two days a week, my job isn’t really just to teach music; it’s to show up, listen and pray a lot – and wait for the moments.
God is really with us, and he’s still giving hope and new life to dark places. But he normally shows up when his people decide to show up – and that’s what I’m figuring out how to do. Fortunately, I’m not alone. There are two women in the office who are followers of Jesus, plus at least one of the teachers, and several students that I know of.
It’s pretty easy to do “the work of the Kingdom” when you work in a church. Or at least, it’s easy to look like you’re doing the work of the Kingdom. Now, for the time being, the work of the Kingdom means showing up, listening, praying a lot, and waiting for the moments. If God’s going to be “with” the people at the little private school, it looks like I’m at least partially responsible for bringing him there.