His Pain Like Mine
Right now I'm at loss for words. I'm struggling with a lot of things. Leadership. Faith. Family life. I'm struggling with what I believe and how I'm seeing life play out. I'm struggling with values. I'm struggling with feeling persecuted.
This past week has been painful. Pressured by all the demands at work and helping everybody that needs to be helped, I find myself weary. I find myself asking God, "If you have gifted me with so much ability to help other people, why can't I help myself?"
I go back to Henri Nouwen's words and trying to find what I can be thankful but right now is just hard. Circumstance after circumstance piling one after the other. My parents saying harsh words to one another. Watching my mom struggling her way through aloneness. Uncertain of her health. People at work becoming unreasonable and uncooperative with demands that are too high to meet. Directions that do not make sense. Work has become unfulfilling and what gets me through the day is just the hope that tomorrow will be better.
But what floored it for me was feeling the one thing that a leader least expects. Similar to what happened to me 3 years ago in youth ministry. The very people I help. The very people I mentor. Misunderstand the counsel, the guidance, the "push". And I am branded as someone who is not able to understand their feelings and someone who just drives them to insanity.
It's funny. It starts off as a friendly and lighthearted interaction. Getting to know the people I lead or guide is one of the most wonderful discoveries I can experience. But what makes it difficult is when the ones you're leading resist the discipline you try to enforce which should only be for their own good and misinterpret this discipline as punishment. It's funny because you try to win their trust. You try to motivate them. You spend a sum of your hard labor earnings on people who are not your family, not your blood relations and not even your close friends. Just so you can penetrate them and get them to cooperate with you.
And that is not even enough.
I remember how this same situation has happened for me in Youth Ministry 3 years ago. Now it's not only happening in Youth Ministry, it's happening in Work as well.
My only consolation is that "this is what Jesus must have felt like." And thinking about how the Son of God walked this earth treated unjustly by the people he helped, mocked by the very people he cured and healed, crucified by the very people who saved, makes me at least try to endure this situation even if its making every part inside me crumble like fortress that has lost its very wall of defense.
Perhaps this is what I need to journey through as Lent begins next week. A deeper understanding of suffering and its redemptive merits. A closer realization that His pain was and is like mine.