The Edge of Our Gifts
Behind the scenes (and almost always behind the front desk) you will find some of the brightest and most compassionate student-volunteers serving the poor at Mercy Health Center. Some students commit to spending a semester at Mercy, working as interns to help support our small staff. Caleb Botta, a recent graduate and rising first year medical student who is spending his second semester as an intern at Mercy, has shared a reflection from his experience below. ENJOY!
4%. Four Percent. This number is etched into my heart, mi corazón. We are all stewards. God has entrusted us with talents, resources, and leadership influence, and we use these gifts to work hard for the glory of God and the good of others. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). I am a steward of the 4%. I am a volunteer medical interpreter at a Christian charity health center for the poor. Physicians donate their free time to see our patients, and a network of churches, businesses, foundations, and individuals finance everything else. Our clinic is the result of a interdenominational effort between over 20 churches, 27 foundations, 800 volunteers, and the gifts of hundreds of businesses and individuals, but even with all of this we are only able to meet about 4% of the need in our city. What do you do when you reach the edge of your gifts? When your team has dreamed and worked so hard and yet so much of the work remains? This tension exists in every field. There always seems to be more students to teach, more stomachs to feed, and more souls who have not yet heard the gospel. The more I interpret for the poor the more I struggle with this tension, but in my struggle I have found hope. You see, there will be a day when 100% of the need is met. “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away’” (Revelation 21:3-4). This hope is a fuel that can empower us to love the suffering even at the edge of our gifts. We love because he first loved us, and our gifts point the way towards the gift that is the hope of the world. Jesus is the way and the truth and the life, and he is the only hope for our neighbors. We cannot separate our work from the reality that God is in control and that he loves the suffering more than we do. When you reach the edge of your gifts and there is still great need in the community, mourn the loss. As you mourn, you can trust by faith that God is in control, that he loves everyone involved in the broken situation, and that there will be a day when he will wipe every tear from our eyes. At the edge of our gifts we love the suffering, we mourn with them, and we point them towards a greater hope in Jesus Christ. He will make all things new, he will wipe every tear from our eyes, and we rejoice in our sufferings as we trust in his sovereign love with joyful expectation for the future.
Bottom-line: When you reach the edge of your gifts, point to Jesus.
Heavenly Father, at the edge of our gifts I pray that we would point the suffering to the rock solid eternal hope that we have in you, and then as the encouragers and brothers of those suffering that we would take courage in that same hope, fully entrusting them to your loving and perfect care that we may also rejoice and truly find rest from our labors in you.