I don’t understand why God allows me to run into various types of people lately. Yesterday, when I was pumping gas in Chicago, an individual approached me for a quarter, I tried to act like I didn’t hear him and then he walked up towards me. I ended up giving him a quarter from my pocket and he ended up pumping my gas for me. Yes, I know you are saying “Darnisha, have you lost yo cotton picking mind? He could have robbed you ..etc.” Trust me, I was already on my defense mode. I noticed that one of his hands were deformed and he was just trying to get by in life. I eventually pulled out a dollar bill in my pocket and decided to pray with him. This morning, as I was about to leave class, an older woman caught my attention in the parking lot asking for gas money since she was leaving an abusive relationship. Her car was damaged by her boyfriend, the windshield was cracked in different places, there was shattered glass in her car because the window was completely shattered from the damages and she had a swollen jaw from being struck in the face. She was devastated, she felt like her world was flipped upside-down from what happened last night. I asked if it her significant other was always abusive towards her and she said no, but she didn’t want it to happen again so she decided to head back to her original place of residency. I ended up giving her a little bit of money and decided to pray with her.
It’s interesting because lately I’ve been evaluating my life as a minister. I’m asking “Am I only doing ministry because I attend a theological seminary or because I am in a church setting?”, “Is my ministry on the basis of certain days and times, like a work schedule?”, “Do I have to effectively minister in a church suit and not a pair of jeans and sneakers”, “Am I qualified to minister to a particular group of individuals even if I never experienced what they are going through nor been exposed to that type of environment they are in?”, “Do I have to maintain a certain status quo and not cross certain boundaries that may lead me to danger in my area of work?”, “What is the purpose of my personal ministry?” These are the questions that have been swimming in my mind lately as it relates to ministry.
One thing that was revealed to me about ministry is this:
Ministry is not a career but a lifestyle, there’s no building, a specific job description, dress code, nor detailed work hours. However, there are some great benefits. You don’t have to obtain a certain title to minister, nobody is too young nor too old in any type of capacity. If God can use a 7 year old to be a King or someone pushing 100 years to become a first time parent, surely he can use anybody. As I read from my devotion time recently, it’s not about being able, but it’s about being avail-able to do the task that God has placed in your life.
Sometimes God puts certain people in your life to minister to you and to give you the chance to let your light shine. God had to place a homeless man with a disability and a woman escaping a hostile environment in my everyday pathway so that I can show them the Jesus in me and a greater hope. The irony is that I wasn’t intending on praying and witnessing when I had my encounter with them. I was watching my back at all times until God gave me the gift of discernment to “be still” and not avoiding this impromptu witnessing opportunity. I may not see them again but I pray that my encounter with them would draw them closer to a wonderful, merciful, ever-loving God.
Forever Naturally Adorned,