The Chinese have a dish called 1000 year old eggs. They take a duck or chicken egg, wrap it in clay with lime and ash and bury it in the ground. After awhile, the egg basically cooks from the chemical reaction to the coating. You wash it off, break it open and have a kind of pickled egg that has a totally unique flavor. It doesn't really take 1000 years. Maybe a few weeks. Or months. But it is a long time.
I feel a little like I have aged a 1000 years in the last couple of weeks. Something has shifted since I started my new job. The job is intense... in a way that nothing I have ever done has been. And not in a bad way. In the way that requires us to strip away all our defenses and get right to the core of ourselves. We all sort of feel like we have to do this because the nature of the job is so, well, real. The women who come to see us are real. The interactions between the employees. The reality of what we are doing is never lost on us. We feel a sense of humble gratitude to be actively bringing about the Kingdom every day, even as we are fully aware that it is, indeed, a cross to bear. And bear it we do. We work together beautifully, honestly, gratefully. We start every day with prayer. We stop to pray in the midst of the busy moments. We cling, literally cling, to God.
We feel a sense of the enormity of what is at stake. We respect it. But together we try very hard not to slip into fear. That is where our faith comes together. That is where we bolster each other up. We each, in the last few weeks, have had moments of fear and even despair. But we have been allowed those moments and are supported and lifted by each other's faith every day.
What an amazing experience it is to work in an environment like that. I have never been so grateful for a job in my life. I work with spiritual giants, I am telling you. It is an incredible privilege.
And even when it gets hard, which it has and will, I am fully aware that, like the egg, there is treasure inside.