How was Chicago?
This is the number one question I have gotten over the last 12 days since I made the long drive back to Florida, spent 4 days at home, and then drove back up to begin classes for the last time at the University of Florida this week.
Oh how I wish sometimes that the answer was a simple, “awesome”, but it was so much more. I’m still processing all of the experiences I had and things I learned and dealing with not being near those I grew so close to in the nearly 3 months I spent in the Windy City, but the short answer is that it truly was “awesome” and everything I could have dreamed of.
My heart was broken and torn apart for the injustices that are going on around the corner and around the world. I had days where I felt so small in the face of them, that there was nothing that could be done, the problems were just too big. And yet, here I was, interning for a program that doesn’t give up in the face of the big challenges. I worked on projects that matter. Things I wrote or planned were or will be used to spread the message of ELCA World Hunger and the everyday injustices that are sometimes so uncomfortable to face. I’m so thankful for the opportunities I had. To see the light bulb of a high school student go off as they realize the power they have to advocate or donate whatever change they have. To work with other 20-somethings who genuinely have a passion for being educated and making changes in this world a reality. To see funds in action as we visited with our Domestic Hunger Grantees. It all gave me such hope for what the future holds. To see people who are, everyday, in the their own ways sharing what they have with those in need, realizing that they are already richly blessed.
My time in Chicago was definitely that of growth and learning and new experiences. New city – a whole different culture than cities of the south. New people – I didn’t know a single person when I moved. New routine – 8am-4:30pm in an office is very different from the “routine” of college life where everyday is something else. But all of those were challenges to be faced and overcome to see the world in a new way.
Challenge yourself to try new things and change up the routine a bit. Maybe you too will have a whole new outlook on the world and it’s people. Seeing things from new perspectives is the only way we are going to appreciate where we all come from enough to make real changes together.
My life verse from the summer:
Psalm 82:3-4 –
Give justice to the weak and the orphan;
Maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute.
Rescue the week and the needy;
Deliver them from the hand of the wicked.