The third week of my two month stay in New York was full. I had family come in and out, we celebrated July 4th, I settled into a new place and I finally felt like I was able to process being in New York for the summer.
I mentioned last week that part of my internship is visiting various nonprofits in the city and spending time learning about the nonprofit sector in New York. Today I visited an extended-stay residence for terminally ill patients. We led a Sunday worship service with some of the residents there this afternoon.
While the equipment was a little outdated and the sanctuary was the back end of the dining hall, the service felt very authentic to me. The residents that came were kind and immediately welcomed me. I know how much each of them must suffer at the hands of their illness, but each were so receptive and sang with so much life!
After I left, my fellow intern and I walked around Greenwich Village. We bumped into jazz musicians singing loudly, with a large crowd around. New York is so vibrant, there is always a new sound or color or smell (sometimes good, sometimes not) to experience. After my third week, I feel more able to take them in stride instead of being overwhelmed.
I have been privileged to experience so many sides to the city in my short time here and I am excited to see even more. I know God is working in me and that the things I'm learning will stay with me for a long time.
Things like seeing terminally ill men and women praising Jesus not despite their current suffering, but in the middle of it.
Like the world's brokenness and hurt seen in riots over recent events throughout the city.
Like the hope found in pausing and praying at work for healing in our country when words don't come to express the pain.
Like going to a new church and finding truth in a body of believers hundreds of miles away from home.
Most people have probably stopped reading by now, but I just have one thing left to say. God is alive in New York and I believe He brought me here to see the work He is doing. I believe He also wants me to see that if He cares for each person in this huge city, He also cares for me.
If He cares for them deeply, He cares for me deeply.
If He hurts with them, He hurts with me too.
I know that is obvious, but it's a big truth for me.
It's a big and hard-to-believe truth for me.
I believe that God is going to show me even bigger truths this summer, whether I'm ready to see it or not. And that is something to look forward to.