I saw a video on social media today that has been making me reflect on justice and service. It was a picture of the Pope standing before a young girl who was unable to walk. It made me think of Jesus and the healing of the paralytic. My thoughts turned to the friends of the paralytic - the ones who cut a hole in the roof of the house Jesus was speaking in - and who lowered the man down to be healed by Jesus. It took great faith for friends to do that - it also took great faith for friends and family to bring the girl to the Pope. Actually it must have been no easy task at all. What amazes me is the conviction - the faith of the friends compelled by love to seek mercy and healing. Sometimes we are called to be the voice, the hands and the feet for others - and it takes courage and conviction to be any of those things.
Summer plans for our YNIA mission trips have been well underway for months now and I am thinking about all the opportunites our teams will have to be the voice, the hands, the feet for others - for those in need. Worksites provide the stage or the place for heaven and earth to meet - a place where the Holy Spirit meets a group of young people ready to serve in a place of need. This is where powerful things happen. The work is a means to an end - the real work is the relationships made, the kindness shared, the stories told and the walls of indifference that crumble. Yes, there is work to be done - but Christian service is our way of letting the world know that we care - that God cares and that there is goodness all around us.
It is my hope with every summer of YNIA - that young people and their leaders have experiences that open their eyes, melt their hearts and impress upon them the need to continue service each and every day of their lives. If our eyes are open, we won't miss the hungry, the thirsty, the lonely or imprisoned. We will see them - and find a way to help and to transform situations. Our tag line for YNIA is love, serve, transform. A gift and a challenge for sure.