July 08, 2011

"Mr. Fix-it" tendencies

Let me tell you about a time when I almost hijacked God’s responsibility with my driven behaviour that tends to want to rescue or help another person. Within me is this incessant desire to “fix-things” by becoming overly involved and responsible. And yes, this tendency tends to spill over even today but that is a story for another time.

This day began like many others as I unlocked the doors to the Crisis Pregnancy Centre with the phone ringing even before I had turned off the alarm system. Picking up the phone I heard the voice of one of my clients, Susan (name changed). Susan had been a client of mine for 3 years and I had become emotionally attached to this brave, troubled young mom who was now pregnant with her third child.

We had first met when she walked into the centre pregnant with her second child. Initially Susan was wondering if Crisis Pregnancy Centre could help her with maternity clothes as she needed clothes for work. During the intake process I found myself shedding tears as she shared the late-term abortion of her first child when she was barely 15 years old. Susan became one of my favourite clients and we developed a bond of friendship within the boundaries of the centre’s confidentiality and limits.

This morning she began to tell me how her son had jumped and jumped in the crib until the bottom completely fell out. Laughingly she told the story but also asked if the centre had any second-hand cribs that she could borrow for this coming birth a few short weeks away. I hung up the phone after telling Susan that the centre had none at the moment but I would see what I could do.

A whisper in the back of my mind became a “shout” as I thought “I could buy her a crib and I wouldn’t have to tell her it came from me.” How foolish was this thought – depending upon myself to carry through God’s ministry work. Isn’t this the same argument that I gave to the staff and volunteers? We are not here to “rescue” or to be a “Mr. Fix-it”. Each one of us donated sacrificially already to the ministry through time, resources and financial contributions but it was to carry out the mandate of the centre as opposed to individually responding to the heart breaking needs we saw day in and day out.

However, by the time the assistant director arrived I had persuaded myself that “this” was a right thing to do – to buy a crib for Susan. I attempted to convince Eldora that this was the correct course of action. Wise woman that she was, Eldora gently but very firmly put this in perspective with a resounding “No, Maria. As Director you have made it very clear to each of us and I remind you again of your words to us when we want to do this very same thing.”

Bowing my head, I prayed asking God to intervene for Susan. Within a few minutes the phone rang again. It was one of our prayer supporters, Julia (name changed). Julia was calling to say that she had just finished praying and God, at least she thought it was God, was impressing her with the need to buy a crib for one of the centre’s clients. Was there a young girl who had need of one? Was there ever!!!

Within the hour I was able to call Susan back. With tears running down my face I was able to say to Susan “Can I tell you how much God cares about you” as I began to relate Julia’s phone call of God moving on her heart to help with a crib even before she knew of Susan’s need; but God knew.

God spoke to each of us at the centre that day letting us know that this was HIS ministry. I almost hijacked God of the responsibility with my "Mr. Fix-it" tendencies. I almost stole His wanting to bless not only Susan but Julia knowing that God spoke to her in prayer. I almost hijacked God’s responsibility and I almost stole the comfort that comes by knowing He cares and provides.  I'm glad it was only "almost".

Isaiah 63:8 (The Message)

In all their troubles
he was troubled, too.
He didn't send someone else to help them.
He did it himself, in person.
Out of his own love and pity
he redeemed them.
He rescued them and carried them along
for a long, long time

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