"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Friday, October 15, 2010

What do you do?

What do you do? This is such a common question. It sits on the common-question-shelf with Where do you live? and How are you? We ask it without thinking, really. We generally ask and respond rather automatically to these questions, don't we?

What do you do? I was asked this the other day a fresh... I had a hard time answering the inquiry.

I find myself struggling when people ask me this every-day question? "So, what do you do?" they might say casually. Or, "What does your husband do?" When asked, I feel a distinct lag in my response... as if I don't really know how to answer. I stammer and stutter and try to explain what I do.

This morning I began thinking again about this question when reading 2 Corinthians 3-6. Paul talks about his ministry (4:1) (what he does). He describes it as "being transformed" or being changed into the likeness of Christ for God's glory (3:18). Paul explains that this ministry "comes from the Lord". Later in chapter 4, Paul describes what he preaches (or what he does) as simply talking about Jesus, his boss.

Can you just picture it? While buying bread at the local bazaar, trader-man 'Jo' asks Paul, "what do you do?" What might he say? How would he respond? Would Paul say, "I am transformed by God. And, I talk about His son, Jesus, my master"? It makes me smile to think of the scenario.

In later portions of 2 Corinthians 4, Paul continues to expound on this ministry... the glory of God changing us to be more like Jesus... and says His glory is given to clay pots. "Paul, what do you do?" "O, I'm just a clay pot. I am a jar made of mud and clay... filled up with God and shining forth His glory from all my cracks and holes." I wonder what tradesman 'Jo' would think about that response!

Yesterday, as part of my ministry day, I sat and listened, and talked, and prayed with a few women. I "journeyed" with them for an hour or so. I continue journeying with them today as I pray. As I spoke with these ladies, I distinctly thought, what in the world am I doing here? I really have nothing to give these woman, these dear ones who love Jesus so well. What am I really offering them?

What do I offer? Not much, really. I show up. I sit there. I pray. I offer myself... That's all. ...sorta clay-pottish, you might say.

So, I guess if I had the courage to respond honestly to that infamous question of "Stephanie, what do you do?" I might simply have to say, "well, not much really... I just sit here and try to get to know God better." But, I must add, "But, God, He does a ton! He is always at work... and once in a while He chooses to use me, to shine through me, to speak through me, ... and that is sweet. I don't do much. But, He does a lot!"

O kind Father, would you continue to use this dirty, broken clay pot. Would you enlarge my capacity to be filled by your Spirit, to know You Father, and to speak of You, Jesus? I don't do much, I know. But, all I am..., all I do..., I want to do for Your glory! Be glorified in me!
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