Six weeks in Dublin, and I’ve finally gotten to do some real, live ministry work!
Interested in what specifically I was doing? Well, I don’t want to make it sound too glamorous. I don’t want to make you all jealous with the fulfilling and edifying work we get to be a part of. So I’ll give you a rundown. Bear in mind, this is just from the past week!
One day, I was privileged to help with the construction of a Lenten labyrinth. What is a Lenten labyrinth, you may ask? Well, a new friend here wanted to challenge people’s concept of Lent, since it’s a very common cultural observance. So he’s built a maze in an empty commercial space, with the idea of people coming to reflect and/or pray in a calming and art-filled environment.
Another day, I had the opportunity to help out with an event on a university campus. This was an outreach to students, where they could come to a free lunch and listen to a speaker talk through the idea of God-given worth in each life. It was a great space for the students to come for a non-threatening discussion of faith and be able to challenge and question as well.
As you can see, there are great things happening!
Wait, you want to know how I specifically was involved? Well, in the labyrinth, I got to staple up empty coffee sacks to wood frames. I got to cut seams out of coffee sacks to get them ready to hang. I got to go up and down a ladder, dig through boxes, and end up covered in burlap. Other people were there who had done things like design, construction, artwork, etc. Not me. I was all coffee sacks, all the time – since it was on a ladder, I’m going to say I was doing the higher-level work. My only regret was not having more time to spend on it.
In the university outreach, I found myself preparing the message. Well, actually, the message board. There was an old white board that was to be used to make a sign to show people where to go. This board was completely unusable, since either permanent marker had been used on it before, or maybe it had just been on there too long to erase. Whatever the case, no one had any board-cleaning solution. That was when I had the brainstorm to clean it in the lavatory. As such, I found myself using cold water and hand soap along with toilet paper (yes, there are no paper towels in most of the Irish public toilets I’ve been in) to scrub off one stray mark after another. It took quite a while, but in the end they had a nearly-clean board that would work for whatever artwork they wanted to apply! (And likely not erase, so the same problem is expected next time around…)
Obviously, I’m being a touch sarcastic here. Neither of these two jobs were glamorous. Neither of them were exciting or what we might think of as fulfilling. But I’m not complaining!
Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
Colossians 3:17 [NASB]
In other words, whether it’s exciting work or not, we’re called to give thanks and do it in Jesus’ name. So if by any of my small efforts a piece of the job can get done, I want to do it! Just a few verses after this one, it says that we are to work heartily, since our work is for the Lord. It’s not for me and it’s certainly not about me. So no matter what the task, let’s roll up our sleeves and get it done!