The Struggle of Stuff

The Struggle of Stuff

After I graduated from college, I was
a Volunteer in Mission with the Presbyterian Church in the mountains of the
very southeastern corner of Kentucky. 
For nine months, with basically no training, I tried to help people with
their physical needs in  this very poor
area of the country. 

That year was one of the most
difficult and rewarding in my life.  I
struggled with the  injustice of life —
but also with being the person to whom people constantly came to “get

Some families were very resourceful,
smart and knew how to “work the
system.”  They knew about new government programs and
resources before I did!  One such family
was the Sturgills, a large, good natured and persistent family living up in one
particular “holler.”
I  truly enjoyed my visits to them. But
finally, after about 6 months of helping them in every way possible to the
maximum that our agency would allow, I had to level with Mavis Sturgill, the
matriarch of the family.  We couldn’t
help her family any more with any more stuff or money!

An amazing change came over
Mavis.  She relaxed, looked me in the
eyes, and asked me about myself.  We had
a person to person, interesting and touching conversation.  We were just two people, getting to know each

Often I treat Jesus the same way
Mavis Sturgill treated me — I want stuff.  I come to Jesus when I have a particular need
or desire.  I’m
not really interested in a relationship with Jesus — I just want him to
do something for me or give me something. 

What does it mean to “seek
Jesus anew”?  How can I grow in my relationship with Jesus
while trusting him to meet all my needs (although not necessarily all my
wants)? These are some of the questions I’m
asking as we “seek Jesus
anew” together.

Pastor Judie Ritchie