Ministry Opportunities

I was invited by a friend this morning to attend a worship service at a women's shelter in Nashville. A friend of hers who works regularly in this ministry was going to be speaking. I was glad to be asked and very interested in going.

Years ago, when I was attending Lipscomb, I got involved in trying to help some of the women in the Madison shelter. I participated in group counseling sessions and in a mentoring program as well while I was studying for my degree in Family Relations. But ultimately I had to resign from the mentoring program because, after moving to Murfreesboro, it was too far to drive at night for the regular meetings. I have failed to explore similar opportunities in my own community. But it's always remained in the back of my mind that I would like to be involved in this type of ministry again at some point.

So, when I received the invitation, I didn't view it as a random event. I felt like perhaps there could be a calling from God in this invitation.

As the service began, I was emotionally overwhelmed and so humbled just sitting there. I don't think any of us ever completely loses sight of the reality that there are those less fortunate than ourselves. And I am continually thankful for God's blessings in my life. It doesn't take being at a women's shelter for me to feel thankful. Not a day goes by that I don't stop and think, at some point, about how merciful God has been to me and how unworthy I am of his blessings. But being in that setting just touched my heart so deeply. I have probably never faced anything as challenging as some of those women's smallest problems.

I have been asked if I would consider speaking at one of these services and I said that I definitely would. But I will need to go a few times and get comfortable enough that I can speak without bawling. Chances are, I will never be able to speak in a setting like that without tears. But hopefully after a few ice-breaking visits I will be able to maintain some semblance of composure.

I can't imagine what it would feel like to be homeless or alone. I have never experienced either. I have felt alone at times in my life. But I have always had someone to turn to. I've always had a comfortable place to sleep and food to eat and friends who loved me. My thoughts during that service were just all over the place, from gratitude for my blessings to an overwhelming sense of compassion for those less fortunate.

My prayer today is that God will equip me to be used for His glory in the lives of others and also that I will be sensitive and responsive to the opportunities He gives me. I also pray that I will be willing to get outside my comfort zone in order for Him to answer that prayer. I feel so inadequate and out of my league at the thought of taking that podium and speaking. But even that is such a small challenge compared to the challenges of the audience. It would be so selfish of me to draw back from the opportunity to speak the Gospel into the lives of others; especially those who are so in need.

The women who lead this ministry are constantly looking for people to speak in this service. They share the commitment with another group. And the women I will be working with lead the services on the second and fourth Wednesdays of every month. If anyone reading this - male or female - would be interested in participating in one of these services, please let me know. Your involvement certainly will not go unappreciated.


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