I was starting to wonder why I had even come to chicago in the first place.
This trip has brought all of my insecurities up on front of me and hit me in the face.
Here I am on the streets of Chicago. It’s the Taste of Chicago festival and I’m here with a group of 60+ anabaptist young people from across America. We’re here to talk about Jesus.
And instead I’m facing my fears.
The fear of having to talk to strangers. I don’t know how to have polite conversations for hours about nothing. My INTP tendencies make me an awkward conversationalist all around.
My fear of being around people. Coupled with the previous fear this can make any social situation a nightmare. I am an extreme introvert. If I would be able to spend some downtime by myself or with people I know I’d be ok but instead I’m in a room with three girls who are complete strangers.
My fear of being annoying. I always assume I’m the person who annoyongly doesn’t fit in but insists on hanging out with the group anyhow. This means I refuse to hang out with the same girls very much because what if they’re tired of me? This prevents me from making any friends and so I for sure don’t have anyone to hang out with. This fear is compounded by the fact that two of my siblings who are with me are dating which means that hanging out with them does make me the annoying person or at least it makes me feel that way. Thankfully Matt is here too however hanging out with your brother full time instead od making friends is decidedly frowned on.
And then there are my music insecurities. I have this deep inner fear that I have an awful singing voice. That it’s bad enough that when we leave here I’ll be known as the girl who can’t sing. That I’m getting on the nerves of all the musically talented people around me. This fear is bad enough that I’ve been known to lip sync instead of actually sing on certain occasions. The main thing we do here is sing. And sing. And sing. This is not in my comfort zone.
My fear of making some huge (mennonite) fasion mistake. I blame my complete ignorance of fashion on being an intp as well. Normally i simply don’t worry about it and am just unfashionable but then I get myself into these situations and i wish i wouldn’t have missed the fashion memo. This is compounded by the fact that I have to wear a cap style covering for this trip. This has renewed my respect and awe for girls who wear these things all their lives but it does nothing to ease my fashion insecurity.
So yeah, with that myrid of random fears confronting me I wished badly i would have stayed home. I don’t know why I insist on doing things i hate doing. I had made a very bad mistake. I would forever remember this weekend as a horrible one.
But this afternoon I stood on a street corner handing out CDs and chatting with people.And then I remembered why I had come.
Because it’s not about me.
This trip isn’t about me.
Life isn’t about me.
It’s about Jesus.
Jesus and the people He loves.
The young girl who said she has no idea what she believes but thinks there probably is a higher power.
The tall young man who simply said “pray for me tonight” as he hurried by .
The older lady who asked me to pray for her and said she’s keeping the cd so she can call the number on the back.
The middle-aged man who sincerely thanked me and said “I’m listening to this as soon as I get home.
And the beautiful little girl who smiled shyly at me when I gave her a bible story book and said “thank you” in heavily accented english.
It’s about the man who spent his afternoon listening to our songs.
About the tall lady who stopped for several minutes to listen, smiled at me and then walked away.
I’ll never see them again.
I know literally nothing about them.
And yet God, in his infinite plan and wisdom somehow worked a hundred little miracles and for just a moment our lives interconnected.
Did I love them as Jesus does?
Will they remember that I loved Jesus?
They are unanswered questions of the cosmos.
I’ll probably never know.
There’s a song we sang in choir for awhile that nearly always made me cry.
…For well I know thy patient love perceives/ not what I did, but what I strove to do/ and though the full ripe ears be sadly few/ thou wilt accept my sheaves.
I will be well satisfied if Jesus would say of me as he did of the lady who anointed his feet, “she hath done what she could”
But have I?