As we expected, we were the youngest people in the room by 5-10 years. It was largely a gathering of Christian financial planners and big givers, coming together to dream about how to make a difference with their money and lives. I think I had forgotten the passion for transforming Charlotte that was brought to the table on Tuesday night. What a blessing to be part of this evening and be reminded of my calling not just to the world but to my own community.
Ron Blue, the founder of NCF and a noted Christian leader in the world of finances, spoke on the way the biblical story of Nehemiah gives light to this calling to a city. He mentioned that we need to be "out there" far enough to experience some fear. I'm reminded as I write of one of Tim's tee shirts that I folded this afternoon that says "Confesso que vivi -- P. Neruda" (I confess that I have lived -- Pablo Neruda-- and I think it's in Portuguese if you're wondering why I spelled my Spanish so poorly!). I want to come to the end of my day and the end of my life ready to say that with confidence.
How can I use my time, my talents, and my treasure to make a difference in Charlotte? How can I contribute to the growth of God's kingdom here? How can I reach out in compassion to people with deep physical, social, spiritual, or financial needs? I'm not sure, but I'm glad for the reminder to ask the questions.
As a side note and an update, I had two interviews yesterday at nearby schools that serve very low-income kids. I'm hopeful and also heartened, if that's a word. These are tough student populations, and I know that kids who haven't eaten since yesterday's free school lunch aren't necessarily going to be the most motivated to talk about conjugating verbs. That's okay with me. I love teaching but I know it's only valuable because people are valuable. I hope that my offering can make a difference in their lives.