(This is a guest post from Danielle in El Salvador.)
How did I get here? The question rings in my mind once again as I stand on the street corner. Cars rush by, music blaring. Horns honk and the exhaust from buses makes clouds around me. The few streetlights bounce light off of the iron gates, and a gunshot fires in the distance. The night is alive. Men are on the prowl, teenage boys dressed as girls gather on the corners, and single moms selling their bodies to feed their children flash empty smiles at passing cars.
What can I offer? I am miles away from the preschool carpool, minivan, and trips to Target that characterized my former life. Is this a mistake…bringing this suburban girl to the dark streets where gangs strike fear and poverty holds captives? I know I am in over my head, but I dare to try. I have to, because I’m here. In my weakness I speak words of hope into the unflinching darkness, and it seems to move. I build a friendship, share a cup of coffee, and pray for the mother’s child. I put a hand on the sagging shoulder and try to encourage, but I feel inadequate.
Then I remember. I remember why I am here.
I am here because I get to be here. I am here because I know grace. I know the grace from Him who gives all to me, so undeserving, so weak, and so inadequate. I am here because I know brokenness and loss…but I also know new life. That’s how I got here. I am here by His grace…by His relentless love. I have this to offer, and this is everything.
And so I can stand in that dark place in my weakness and in my knowledge of the brokenness of my own life that is only restored by my Savior. I can offer hope…that commodity that is in short supply on these streets. Yes, this suburban mom far from home can speak words of hope. That is how I got here, that is my mission.
Does anyone else feel inadequate? Like you are in over your head? How has God spoken to your heart in that place?