17 Aug Kairos Impact | Resting in God’s Grace
In years past, summers down south included having a constant itch from rolling around in the freshly cut grass, pool days cut short only by an over intake of potato chips, and a number of road trips to amusement parks where we waited in the far too long lines. More recently, and along with many other difficulties adulthood poses, summer has become a time to rest from work towards a diploma only to engage in more work for a paycheck. This summer, however, the normal toil and labor of work has yielded quite a different crop for me. Over the past eleven weeks, I have been blessed to participate in the 2016 Kairos Internship. It has been as far from merely working for a paycheck as the drive from I-85 to Pelham Road during rush hour traffic.
Looking back on my first Monday when I pulled into the parking lot early in the morning with a new haircut, I am tempted to say that I was humbled and careful to engage in the first day’s agenda with a lowly, yet excited, spirit. However, as I have learned more than anything else over the course of a personal defining summer, I confess that I was fearful.
It’s funny, I have always been a doer- a person who doesn’t hiccup at a challenge. However, walking into a place that served and embodied the foundations of my beliefs so well, I was truly fearful I would mess it all up. That, somehow, rather than bringing strategy and momentum to the table I would be a self-igniting fire that would enflame everything I touched.
Kairos, if nothing else, broke me. We speak so boldly in church of denying ourselves and picking up the cross of Jesus. But never before have I understood that denying myself includes being transformed from my prior nature that I was once actually okay with epitomizing— a nature that screamed out acceptance of an eternity apart from the peace of an eternal Father.
Once the awkward introductions and fear of forgetting coworker’s names dwindled, the remainder of the summer days consisted of work and class. Class never failed to make me want to put a bag over my head and walk around without eyeholes welcoming any wall or chair leg that found its way into my path. It was challenging, convicting, and of course, breaking. Afterward, I would interact with students who hungered for substance and community. I came to know them, worship alongside them, and carry their baggage home with me. By the end of each day I was tired, and I felt all the weight of who I was apart from Jesus.
But for me, the light that Jesus speaks of found meaning and power in the idea that I am undeserving and incapable. Who am I? A sinner filled by the Spirit with so much unimaginable grace and mercy that I get to spend every day learning more and more about God, who He is, and what He has done and will do. Who am I? The worst of sinners, compelled by the Spirit whom Jesus sent to us with a bold proclamation that He would be better for us at this time than the Son Himself. And, I have the opportunity to partake in that truth with young students who are struggling, learning, and identifying with who they are.
It is not fear that drove me through the summer after those first mysterious moments on orientation day, but grace. Grace saved me, but first it broke me. It no longer allowed me to be strong. But, rather glorified my weakness, and I pray that it does every day moving forward. Where sin exists, grace exists alongside it all the more. If I don’t understand how much I need this grace, then it is clear I will never comprehend how sinful I really am. Saying that over and over can produce fear in what I am able to learn and do, or it can allow me to rest in the grace God so lovingly gave. I get to partake in it with others every day by learning about who God is and how He will submit the world under His authority through His people. I am a consumer of this grace, and I need it for the rest of time. That truth is what I learned, and what I will take away over and over again, day after day.
-Drew Huskey, Spartanburg Campus
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