What is there to give when you’re left holding nothing?
The past few weeks, I have given a lot of myself to hundreds of children and teenagers as I shared the faith with them–my time, my energy, my stories. Now there’s one week left, and I feel as though I have nothing left for even a single child, much less another hundred or so.
Surely, Lord, you didn’t mean to let me run out of gas now? You didn’t mean to leave me with nothing left, only to have to once again cry out, “Totus Tuus”, and completely honestly mean it?
Just this afternoon, during recess time, I sat under a tree and watched a group of the kids play. I had absolutely nothing left–no energy, no fun, no words. I might as well have been a shadow. So I picked up a stick and began to peel off the bark, something a little girl had shown me just the other day.
It wasn’t long before a young child joined me, just having lost a game. I’d been curious about this kid all week, he was in third grade but already had his hair styled into a Mohawk and dyed blue. But he didn’t fit the stereotype; he seemed quiet, and was pretty reluctant to join the kids whenever they were asked to scream or shout or dance wildly. So I was only half-shocked when he asked what I was doing and promptly joined in, striking up a conversation and happily peeling away at another stick.
It was only a few minutes more before there was a solid group of 7 or 8 kids all peeling sticks and stacking them in a pile, happily chatting and trying to decide what to do with them. They loved it, such a simple thing when they had the chance to play sports or games or simply run around crazy. Instead they wanted to peel sticks with me and chat and just smile.
It was one of the best moments of the summer, and yet what had I done? What had I given? Nothing. At least nothing of myself, other than my presence.
What was it that they got?
God works in mysterious ways…He’s completely drained me of everything, so that I can’t give any more of me. The only thing left to give now…is Him. I can only give them His love, His mercy, His joy. I can only go on His strength and grace.
I’ve been completely drained…I’ve become Totus Tuus for the final week. I have nothing, and still You ask me to lay it on the altar. Whatever You have planned, Lord, it must be big.
Help me, Lord, to not get in Your way.