I recently watched a movie that I had already seen, the constant gardner I remember seeing it many years ago, admiring the main character, wanting to be like her, fighting for the sick and the poor against big bad pharmaceutical companies. But this time around, I found her to be unstable; a liar, proud, afraid and lost.
I was always dead set on doing humanitarian work, and I headed out to Sri Lanka and Tanzania in 2017. It took me only a short moment to see that just like in the bakery and business world, the ngo world was also wrought with greed, lies, deceit, envy… But it’s through this reality that I later came to the conclusion that the only hope for humanity is what Jesus did for us on the cross.
I remember that day, in Sri Lanka, when I started to really question the nature of humanitarian work. We had opened a traditional cafe in alliance with a travel company. It was our opening day, the tables were set, the air was filled with spices and excitement. The women fluttered around in their best saris, like colourful butterflies. It all went fine, except for me, I knew about the lies, the manipulations, I knew how each side had its own plan and how they ignored certain injustices that were being done, as long as their respective mandates were fulfilled. That moment, when I could see the deception of it all, like in a surreal dimension, I could see all the x’s and y’s, the 1’s and 0’s. It was just a game. They were all just playing a game.
And that is how I started to realise that the foundation upon which we build our good intentions is unstable, broken and false. They fall to pieces if not based on a foundation that is stronger than concepts of this world.
Today, I know that Jesus is the super hero. He is the Saviour, the miracle worker and He will find a way out for those who are suffering, maybe He’ll use me, maybe He wont. But it’s not about me. It took me years and many lessons to put my ego aside, my desire to be a saviour, and to let God do His work. His work on me.
I’m not saying that it’s not beautiful to want to help out those that are suffering, but we must be led by the Spirit or it will be about our pride and we will end up like the character in the movie, lost and fearful.
We pray to base our lives on You, the living stone, on a foundation that cannot be moved, that cannot be shaken. We pray to always be guided by You, and not by our own desires, to be able to discern the truth through even the best of our intentions.