All of a Sudden - As Told by an Intern
Days here go by too quickly. By the time I sit down to start my work each morning, it seems that the day’s end has crept in and made its place here. Hours spent in the office range from meetings full of big dreams and brainstorming sessions to talk of the Paleo diet and the health effects of pillows. Expecting the unexpected has become my new normal.
One month ago, I timidly hopped off a plane and into my summer position as “intern” with Story International. I came with few expectations, knew almost no one, and I was still learning and absorbing most of what was happening in the midst of Story’s… story. It only took a couple days to get the swing of things, to fall in love with the faces of friends both young and old, and to be 100% on board for the task at hand.
Being thrown into a staff mid-transition feels a little like jumping on a rollercoaster as it’s flying down the first hill, full throttle. It’s slightly overwhelming and fast paced, and there is much to take in. As an observer, my days become full of mental images. Like the way the Guatemalan staff worships Jesus on Monday mornings, or the way everyone here ironically takes a step closer to the mess, instead of taking a step back.
There’s a chalkboard wall in the office. It expands probably 15 yards and within those 15 yards are lists, diagrams, doodles, notes and quotes. On the far left side, a pink-chalked note reads, “All of a sudden, the money comes.” The mental image inside my head replaces the “money” with “x.” So it reads, “All of a sudden, ‘x’ comes.” Fill in the blank.
Posture. The way you carry yourself. We are taught that good posture means standing tall, shoulders back. It gives the impression that you are strong and confident. However, spiritually, are we not told to bow down, to be on our knees? Less of me, more of You, Jesus? Hands wide open no matter the challenges ahead? Should our posture before the Lord show confidence in ourselves or confidence in Him who is in control?
For the last year, I have felt that I was learning to surrender to the Lord. I’ve become keenly aware that He is my source, that I must trust His provision. However, the last month interning here has taught me more about surrender and trusting Him than the last twenty-some years of my life ever could.
My efforts of coming to Jesus on my knees, open handed, have previously come from a good place, but to witness people trusting Jesus with not only their life, but the lives of countless children and families as well - that’s been transformational. To witness this staff saying “Father, we need You” and believing that “all of a sudden,” exactly what we need in this very moment, “comes,” is expanding my own faith.
Story is working with a posture that reveals a confidence in the Lord. A posture that says “we don’t really know what we need, but we know we need You, and we know You will provide for us.” Setting your gaze on the Lord changes the direction you move. When your eyes are up, your direction must be forward. I’m learning that He will provide. Set Him before you. Set Him on display. Be marveled by Him, and He will take care of the rest.
This staff functions as a well-oiled machine. The operator must be the Lord. Providing clean oil when needed, adding and removing parts when necessary. Fixing, controlling, choosing when, where, who and how it’s all coming together. I’m just a temporary part, but I know that my piece is vital to the functionality of this machine. Each person is an additional part, and each part knows that it needs the other to function. And as long as each part (American staff, Guatemalan staff, teacher, intern, etc) is working with the same goal, charged by the same source, then the well-oiled machine will not be destroyed.
One month into this thing, and there are so many mental images I can barely keep up. The days go by too quickly. Dreams and ideas and paleo and pillows and suddenly it will be August and I’ll be on my way home. My expectations have been blown through the roof, because the Lord is that good. The faces of my friends, young and old, will hold a special place in my heart. My piece will be taken off of the machine, but because everyone continues to trust that “all of a sudden exactly what we need will come,” the operation of this great machine will continue to move forward. That’s a summer internship I’m proud to have been a part of.