This week, as I celebrate my 5 year anniversary at
New York City Relief, I wrestle with something I’ve come to call “The frustration of the why”.
“Selah, what do I do when I go to work?”
“You help people.”
Yep. That’s it. My 4-year-old gets it, she hears about what I do each day and deducts that I help people that are need of receiving a form of “help” that they are having difficulty acquiring alone.
“But why? Why do I help people?”
Crickets. Chirp. Chirp. “I don’t know.” Selah resolves.
This is a question that comes up in my head often, mostly because what I do in my day to day is completely foreign to the norm and so often doesn’t have a defined “win”, that I grasp at the frustration of the WHY.
Why: For what reason or purpose?
For what reason or purpose am I waking up today? For what reason or purpose am I going to stand in the cold, hot, or rain - and ask a team that I lead to do the same? For what reason or purchase are we going to talk to strangers that may be too tired or frustrated or jaded by past “helpers” who didn’t follow through?
Why? Just why?
If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you know that I’m a Christian.
Though that label shows itself through MANY different viewpoints, for the sake of what I’m writing about today, the best explanation of what “Christian” means is through my perspective of who God is - which I’ve come to find is that I see God differently than most.
I feel like a lot of people self-experience God as a 14-year-old teenager who just stole the family car, crashed it, and are enduring the wrath of parents who are in complete dismay and say things that they don’t mean out of utter lack of words, so they say the wrong words, “You are a complete failure. You never do anything right. Get out of my sight, I don’t want to see you right now.” Or, as a spouse who just took their work relationship too far and are being buried under the immense, suffocating weight of shame. Or simply, a viewpoint of God that is take it or leave it. “You do you” as they say. God is so distant and not practical that there is a “Why bother?” mindset.
If that is what you are expecting God to say or be, then the frustration of the why is probably too much to bare or there is no why because there is no feeling at all.
If you are living your life tiptoeing around, worried about the failure/punishment dynamic, then safety is your friend and it will be so hard to emerge out of that quicksand.
This is NOT how I view God or experience this life.
Thus also, proof of why my experience of life and what I do each day is foreign - but also amazing!
God is not shame. God is not fear.
The closest form of how I see and experience God is wrapped up in one word: Daddy.
Not father, not dad, but the smallest viewpoint, most intimate, most childish - Daddy.
You can’t say “daddy” without feeling small, young, or childlike.
Daddy isn’t the father figure that shows up when you are in trouble.
Parents don’t use “daddy” when threatening punishment or fear, it’s more like this:
“Just wait until your father gets home, he will deal with you then.”
“Do we need to call dad???”
Daddy is reserved for the intimate, the pain-healer, boo-boo kisser, snuggle expert, and ultimate place of protection and comfort.
This is how I witness and experience God as a Christian - and it literally breaks my heart when I (VERY OFTEN) experience those around me that have absolutely zero experience with this version of God.
Thus, this is how I relay and emulate my external life. This is WHY I live.
Because I have a super intimate, childlike and tangible understanding of God, in turn, I have a super intimate, childlike, and tangible relationship with those around me.
My internal WHY that is always circling my head, heart and actions is maybe if I can show you what it looks like to be loved like that (even a little bit), that you will desire that more and start to look for a God that is more like a daddy than an agent of shame.
So, 5 years in and so continually thankful for this place and people that are shaping me to see God as a child would.
Big, powerful, miraculous, yes… but never too big to comfort a scraped knee or the utter failure that is me each day.
Much love my friends.
Thank you for your genuine love, words, hugs, and encouragements for the past 5 years. Let’s keep it going!