For the last few months I have been volunteering with a Christian organization in my community weekly. The position was to help kids with tutoring but I ended up with an adult woman who wanted to improve her reading. While this caught me off guard I was open to being used in whatever way was needed.
I’m not the typical “service” type of girl. I mean, I don’t usually carry out acts of service as a way of ministering to others. I lean more towards administration, prayer, worship, etc…but it was on my heart to get more involved with my community and this was a great way to do it.
What is most interesting about volunteering is that I have never tutored anyone in my life. This was totally a faith walk and I dove in without really being trained (unless you count that 2 hours of review the organization gave which kind of wasn’t applicable to me since the review was mostly about tutoring kids). But just as He always does, Jesus taught me as I walked forward by faith, and I did a lot of learning while teaching. The woman I met with was sweet and didn’t seem to notice that I really had no prior experience. Lucky for her, I’m an avid reader and a pretty good writer. I mean, I have this blog and everything right? :-).
Just yesterday on my way to the tutoring session I was thinking about how I’ve placed so much emphasis on teaching this woman instead of building a relationship with her these last few months. In typical Nicole-like fashion I was approaching my “assignment” from a task-oriented perspective instead of a people-oriented perspective. I had even come up with a “system” during our sessions, whereas we would review previous words she was studying for the first half hour and then read for the last half hour. Hardly any room for chit chat in between. I mean, I was friendly enough, but just not as personable as I know Yeshua would be.
And so, as it turns out, yesterday was our last tutoring session and the instructor informed us that we would not be actually tutoring, but that we would be dialoguing with our tutee about one another. There were a list of questions to ask each other to get the ball rolling. Well, if that wasn’t confirmation than I don’t know what was. Clearly Christ keeps trying to bring me out of my comfort zone and establish relationships with others inside of a “work” environment. He knows that I will tackle a project or task full force to complete it, but rarely will I reach out to others in the midst of completing that project. I will usually reserve that sort of thing for my “personal/social” life. But God’s church is not a building, locked in by four walls. His church is a living organism…breathing, walking, and talking, every day here on earth.
Thankfully, He gives us a new day to get things right even if we didn’t get them right the day before (or months before in my case). He gave me yesterday to get to know this woman and let her in on my little world filled with nice purses, cute hairstyles and cruises to the Bahamas :-). I’m sure that was even more valuable to Christ then advancing her reading skills…
Me and my tutee 🙂