"We have the privilege of jumping into the messy parts of life with young people—and we do it because we’ve had to wrestle with the reality of our own messes too. It’s from a place of shared brokenness, shared need, that we can enter into life with young people. The beauty of showing up to work at SYM is that we get to set aside any pretense of life being put-together and perfect."
I get frustrated sometimes when hiking because I have to pay so much attention to my feet. If I don’t keep my eyes down I will (and certainly have) tripped.
This reminds me of how young adults here at SYM explain their situations, that they can’t look up to see where they’re going because they are so focused on what is in front of them.
They’re so focused on not tripping, on meeting the basic necessities of each day, that they can get used to keeping their head down, and then they get stuck.
Case management is a chance for youth to sit down with SYM staff one on one and gain perspective. As a case manager I work with young adults to make to-do lists, we make phone calls that are exhausting and full of long wait times, I drive them to appointments, we research together how you get a Wisconsin ID replacement when you’re very far from Wisconsin. We cheerlead accomplishments, and listen to stories. We get to know young people and what makes them unique, and we help young people identify what direction they want to go.
If we only ever looked down at our feet, we’d never get to enjoy or marvel at the little things in life that add up to be the big things. We’d never get to pick what way we are walking. Case management allows space for these things to happen in the lives of homeless young adults.
Written by Emma Fix, Case Manager
Recently, my church challenged us to kick off 2018 by reading through the Gospel of John. As I began reading through John, I noticed something striking to me in the first few chapters. In chapter 1, John the Baptist points out to his followers that Jesus is the Lamb of God (v.36). Following Jesus, they ask him where he's staying. Instead of simply telling them where, he invites them to "Come and see." One of these followers is Andrew, who immediately goes and gets his brother Peter and brings him to Jesus (v.40-42).
Shortly after this, Philip meets Jesus and tells his friend Nathanael about him. Nathanael is skeptical, so Philip invites him to "Come and see" (v.44-46). Skipping to chapter 4, we see a similar interaction happen with the Samaritan woman at the well. After encountering Jesus, she goes to her town and says to her people, "Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did" (v.29).
What I love about each of these instances is the invitation offered. In each passage, when Andrew, Philip, and the Samaritan woman meet Jesus, their first instinct was to invite their community to meet him and bring them there. It reminds me of hiking ahead of friends and being the first to see a beautiful view or waterfall, and quickly running back to say, "You guys have GOT to see this."
Jesus isn't someone who can just be explained with mere words, he's someone people must experience for themselves.
Juxtaposed between these passages is Jesus' first miracle, turning water into wine. I LOVE that Jesus chose this to be his first miracle, because it reminds me that life with Jesus is one big party, a feast! His first miracle was choosing to keep the party going, and not with just any wine, but the best wine. Jesus doesn't skimp on us, but he lavishly gives in abundance.
As followers of Jesus, our lives get to be this invitation for others to "come and see" what Jesus is all about. And what's great about that is we aren't inviting people to something boring or rigid, but we're inviting them to an exciting feast - to meet the Lord of the Wine.
*Written by Jordan Field*