by Eva Englert
A Holy Week Reflection.
God has a way of speaking to us when we least expect it, or does so in ways that are more eye-opening than we can often prepare ourselves for. The past couple of days I've been lost in my own thoughts, preoccupied mostly with my everyday responsibilities. After leaving Walmart where I purchased some things for my children's ministry position, I encountered a homeless woman, perched on a curb, holding a sign that read "Broke Widow: Anything Helps," with her little dog beside her. I drove by, headed back to my college, and that's when the tears began. Something deep within me told me that I could not just drive away from this person. Here I was meeting Jesus, tired and outcast by an unjust society, and I was going to drive away? I returned to where she was sitting and handed her some cash. She accepted, saying she appreciated the gesture. As she did, her eyes were almost cast downward, as if she were ashamed of who she is and of her position. It deeply moved me. What an appropriate encounter for any time, but especially during Holy Week. There I was, caught up in my own petty problems, and God shook me and said, "Here, Eva, this is what really matters. This is where your life should be direction—where the compassion I have given you gives you purpose." May God's comfort and peace be with all who sit in our city streets, and may we be moved to help those in need. In our American consumerist society, we live in excess and often think it is our right to consume as much as we want. May God forgive us, and point us toward the suffering and resurrection of God’s astounding, barrier-shattering, challenging, and ever-present love.
Eva Englert is a senior at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, originally from Dallas, Texas. She will be spending my summer continuing work as a children's minister in Morrilton, Arkansas, before completing a year of service work and applying for a Masters of Divinity for the fall of 2013. She is passionate about social and environmental justice issues, and is committed to incorporating them into future ministries.