My idea of mission before I came to Houston to join with Mission Year was very much centered on what I was going to do for God to further the Kingdom. I was convinced that my team and I were going to change the neighborhood for the better and that God was going to show Himself in great and powerful ways. The longer I stay in Houston, the more my concept of mission is changing. I am coming to realize that it is not about how I am going to change anyone or anything, but rather how God is going to change me so that I can be a greater tool in His mission for change. God is the real missionary and I am simply along for the ride. It is my job to be still and look for Him in the moments of chaos, the moments of business, the moments of calm, and the moments of turmoil.
God is moving, and I am learning to look for Him in the everyday, in the routine. God is in the face of the neighbor who joyously hands me a bunch of bananas even though I have nothing to offer in return but my thanks. God is the concern of the stranger as they ask to see if I am okay since I am in a neighborhood not often traveled by young white women. God is in the moments with co-workers and clients at work as we exchange words of hope and encouragement or share in moments of laughter. God is there in the moments of tears and pain shared with housemates. God is there in the embrace of a friend.
There are moments in the everyday, opportunities to show others the love of God in simple and realistic ways. This may be in stopping to have a conversation with the man on the corner looking for work, or offering a smile to the people who pass by me as I wait for the bus. Showing love and letting people know that they have been seen has become my new mission. It is not my job to change people. God is the only one capable of bringing that about, but what I can do is be with people and love them. I can extend a listening ear and a look of recognition. I can offer a smile and conversation. As I am faithful in reaching out beyond myself, God will plant the seeds and water them in His timing.
God has a mission and I want to be a part of it.
Image credit: Death to the Stock Photo
Carrie Hartzler is a current Houston team member. Originally from Orrville, OH, she attended Malone University. Learn more by visiting her donation page or reading her blog.