Studying the Bible

Financial Assistance – The Power of Weakness

I’ve been studying Paul’s letters to the Corinthians. I came across this verse. Feeling a little overwhelmed by my work here at the LCM, it jumped off the page and into my spirit.

“My grace is all you need, for my power is the greatest when you are weak.”

2 Corinthians 12:9

I’ve met some wonderful people since I started working at the LCM—wonderful, generous, loving people. The community of volunteers here at the Co-op makes me feel strong. I am surrounded by a small army of warriors determined to relieve as much suffering as they possibly can. I feel the strength of their commitment. It’s inspiring and powerful.

I also see so many people in this line of work who are genuinely suffering. They are sick, disabled, out of work, absurdly under paid, absurdly overcharged for rent, or just heartbroken from loss. The list goes on. I’ll be honest. There are days in the face of this much suffering, and this much genuine need, I feel very small and very weak.

Sometimes I get lucky, and I can help. I have the resources. They qualify for one of our programs. I write the check just in time to keep the lights on or to avoid eviction. In February alone, we helped 57 households with power bills and rent shortfall, an average of $347.64 per household. For one more month, they have a home, and it is heated.

Some of the co-ops cut off financial assistance early in the month leaving a lot of people without power and worse, on the street. So far, the LCM hasn’t had to do that. Thank God. I have generous donors. I have an Executive Board that cares deeply about our mission.

There are people I can’t help for one reason or another. Those are the ones who make me feel very, very weak, tiny, powerless. They live in my thoughts and my heart. Their hurt follows me home to my nice warm, secure house, and at night it crawls with me into my nice, clean, comfy bed.

There we are. I think about them and wonder if they are safe and fed. Are they cold? I wonder if there was something more I could have done. I shrink a little more in those moments.

So, I do the only thing left for me to do. I pray for every person I spoke with that day, the ones I could help and the ones that I couldn’t—especially the ones I couldn’t help. I turn them over to God with the belief, the hope, that he is most powerful when I am weak.

In this job, I think of myself as God’s hands and heart. My job is to care, to comfort, to feed, to clothe, to listen and when I can, I write checks to help. I pray for the grace to do this job and when I can’t help, I pray for God’s power to find bigger and better hands than mine.

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