Danny's January Update

A dream becoming a reality: the trailer for our Street Life program

“Our humanity comes to its fullest bloom in giving.  We become beautiful people when we give whatever we can give: a smile, a handshake, a kiss, an embrace, a word of love, a present, a part of our life...all of our life.”  - Henri Nouwen

When listening to stories of those around me, I hear the struggles they face. Illness, pain, abuse, injustice and the like offer many a living hell each day.  I find myself saying that I wish I could wave a magic wand and take it away.  So I pray. After all, I don’t have the ability to change the impossible things about the world, but He does.

I’ll admit, I can get frustrated when these prayers don’t get answered how I want.  So I act. After all I don’t want those I pray for to get the wrong impression of God. What kind of support do they need while we wait for the impossible to happen?  I try to use the resources I have to help care for people, if it is a tangible gift or simply a listening ear.  Some of these things turn out not to be as impossible as I perceived them to be.  I just needed to add action to my prayers.

There are other times where things seem to spiral out of control and lead to disappointment. Some of these are circumstantial and unavoidable, but the more difficult ones are those in which a group or person seems to negate all the positive things I’m working toward. They are exerting some sort of authority or control that counteracts my prayers and actions. Someone will give a teen bad advice, manipulate their thinking or offer a coping mechanism that is quick but destructive.  I can get so angry at those that lead young people astray.

One morning as I spent time with Jesus, I started encountering names and faces in my spirit of those whom encapsulated my frustrations, disappointments and blames. I felt prompted to bless them.  To really ponder and pray about how I wished their lives could be better, more fruitful and safe.  That God would expand their territory and influence. Amidst this, I found myself greatly hesitant.  Some of these people stand opposed to God and his ways.  I don’t want their plans to succeed.  How can I truly desire them to be blessed, let alone be the one to speak that blessing over them?

I had to pause and ask myself why I wouldn’t want them to experience more of the blessing of God and I realized that though my frustrations and desires were justifiable, they were not consistent with the command to love others.  Jesus reminded me of this that morning; that he has called us to love our enemies, not just those that love us in return, or at the minimum those that appreciate the effort.

So I started to write out individual blessings for each of them as if they were seated across the table from me. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. But I found that my attitudes, expectations and desires toward them began to shift. I realized that in my desire to change the world, God hasn’t finished changing me yet.

I would like to challenge you to be a person of blessing.  Bless those you love, bless those that are hurting around you through your words, prayers and acts.  Then step it up a notch and think of that person who has opposed you and in your prayers ask God how to bless those that have hurt you as well. It may change nothing but it could very well change everything for them and for you.

- Danny Ferguson


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