Life + Culture

“Here am I. Send Me!”

There is nothing more fulfilling than utilizing your talents to do something that makes a difference. Realizing that God is about to use you for something that will make an impact is empowering; and yet it is in the moment you are called forward and sent out that is awe inspiring. Commissionings are powerful moments. In Isaiah Chapter 6, The Lord calls out and Isaiah steps forward, initiating Isaiah’s Commission.

 

“Here am I. Send me!”

Isaiah wasn’t exactly given the easiest task, after all, he volunteered to be God’s mouthpiece in an acute time of war! But this awe inspiring encounter with the Lord- where Isaiah heard God speak to him- that was more than enough to propel him into the days ahead.

“Here am I.”

While taking a semester off from college, I looked into joining countless missions organizations. the more I prayed, “Here am I, Lord!”, the more I sensed a call to stay in the US. I finally found an organization called Mission Year. Mission Year focuses on living a lifestyle of love and social justice, while living in a community of faith (read more about this by Look Up Radio, here). Their purpose and mission spoke to things in my soul I did not know needed awakening. A fire was lit, jumpstarting a passion for Jesus & Racial Justice that I previously didn’t have the words for. During my time in the program, I discovered that there are far more similar programs and communities of faith out there than I ever realized! In the Philadelphia area alone there are quite a few, such as The Simple Way, Mission Year II, Servant Year, and several others. Many of the participants are in there 20’s & 30’s, and these organizations are seeing an increase in interest over the past 2 years from young adults straight out of highschool.

“Send Me!”

I asked God to send me, and He did! The greatest part is: He didn’t assign me to do it alone. Once I began to see that there were many other people in my age bracket who were passionate about the same things I was, I became encouraged. I have since seen that same sense of encouragement spread across the faces of others I have seen participate in these programs. It is encouraging to know that someone else asked to be sent too- That you are not alone in such a hard task.
Since most of these intentional communities hold value in and focus on pursuing racial and social justice, the individuals involved seem to have little to no qualms with having hard conversations and debates. In fact, Mission Year emphasized the importance of cultivating diverse community so that more voices are welcome to participate in such dialogue, and to broaden each individuals scope of understanding. What I like most about this is that it also makes space for learning how to talk about these issues in our communities of faith, including in church. I recently talked with a pastor about how it is important to talk about race and cultural differences in the church, but not ONLY when something negative is happening. Our differences deserve to be honored and celebrated as the beauty that God has made them to be. Only then can true restoration and reconciliation take place.

With the #BlackLivesMatter movement and others like it at the forefront, and the unrest in the United States around #PoliceBrutality, #WhosBurningBlackChurches, and #Immigration; not only are conversations amidst people of faith more likely to happen, but the need for these conversations to be inclusive is even greater. As people of faith, I believe it is especially important that we know how to have these conversations well, so as not to turn anyone away from the cross, but rather to advocate on behalf of those without a voice… Just like Jesus did.

What is the Lord calling you to? What gives you encouragement today, in a time when there is much unrest and despair surrounding race relations in our country? We’d love to hear from you!