Complexity and All My Zeros
Complex. It’s the word I would use to sum up all the things I’ve witnessed this past year. And I’ve seen many things.
I’ve witnessed intelligent, academically-minded students get high and wreck their cars.
I’ve watched kids get baptized then go on to become drug dealers.
I’ve heard transgendered youth talk about struggles with self-harm one day and encountering Jesus the next.
I’ve encountered some of the kindest, compassionate youth who have struggles with suicide and depression.
I’ve met teen moms and responsible parents and drop outs and sometimes they’re all the same person.
I’ve seen statistical-improbabilities overcome obstacles and graduate, cap and gown, into promising adults.
People are complex.
Brennan Manning said it best; “When I get honest, I admit I am a bundle of paradoxes. I believe and I doubt, I hope and get discouraged, I love and I hate, I feel bad about feeling good, I feel guilty about not feeling guilty. I am trusting and suspicious. I am honest and I still play games.” People are complex and so very often I feel I have so little to offer. I can listen. I can direct people to resources. I can pray.
It’s this complexity and increasing need in our community that has led me to the realization that I need to be further equipped. And so as of September I’ll be engaging in some professional development by attending the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford to complete my bachelors in Social Work. I’ll be dialing back my hours so that I can finish as quickly as possible and get back to work in my community.
People are complex and I have little to offer them. But with all my heart, mind and strength, I will prayerfully offer what I have.
“It is a sign of spiritual maturity to believe - to understand - that I have not done anything significant
and to be disappointed with myself, in the good sense of the word. I should feel that, no matter what I have done and achieved, I am only adding up zeros and that I need to continue my struggle with trust in God. Then, when the Benevolent God sees the zeros of my good intention, He will take pity on me and will add the number ‘one’ in front of my zeros, giving them value and making me spiritually rich.
A good spiritual state lies hidden within the humble condition of self-disappointment.” - St. Paisios