Laughing & Crying
At our most recent staff retreat, Robin Santos (Tohono O'odham), staff at Haskell LIGHT House stood up and confessed:
"These stories, these are the victory stories, but the process is really hard, and we aren't quick to share our failures."
She went on to explain her struggles working in campus ministry. She explained how it was hard to work with students, to feel like there is progress and then they disappear from worship and Bible study.
She explained how it's hard when they leave, but it's equally hard when they come back. It's hard to welcome them back with open arms and show them Christ's love when it feels like they abandoned you.
"What I have to always remember is that Haskell Light is all about love, because Jesus is all about love," Robin explains.
Some of the students, Robin says,come back and act like they've never gone. In those cases, it's best to try and pick up where you left off. To laugh with those who are laughing.
Other times, they come back with stories of trauma and heartbreak, and then we cry with those who are crying.
The struggles of the LIGHT House staff are no different than the struggles we all face in our own lives. You may not work in campus ministry, but relationships are a part of everything you do.
Sometimes they work and sometimes they take work. Sometimes you're rejoicing and sometimes you're crying.
But we can always rejoice, as children of God, because Isaiah 41:10 says, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
Rejoice with those who rejoice. Mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12:15