Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Go and change the world.

So we got back from vacation today. It's weird--I'm 30 years old, and there are only a few times when I haven't been on vacation with my dad and mom. This was the first time when returning from vacation meant returning right back to work. The plane had barely touched the ground before I became immersed in my voicemails from work. A kid needs a ride to a Juvenile Court hearing first thing in the morning. So I gotta wake up at 6 and head out to Compton so we can be in Pasadena by 8:30. What fun.

It doesn't feel right to complain about work when there are so many people who are willing to work that don't have jobs. And having a job where I feel like I'm doing something. And getting into the job just before the economy stuff started to get REALLY bad. I'm in a good place.

I always think about that when I get home. No matter how long the day's been, and the crap that I've had to endure for the day--at the end, I go home and I have time that belongs to me. I'm not stuck in some horrible nightmare that never ends; when I'm off the clock, I'm valued and appreciated and cared for. That's more than a lot of my clients can say.

When I was leaving my parents' house, my dad said "go and change the world". I thought that was pretty funny. I guess it's a running gag among public social welfare workers that what we do is supposed to be so important, but in reality, a lot of time it amounts to not much more than babysitting and mediation and filling out lots of forms.

Yeah, not a lot of what I do is world-changing. I think that's why I still believe in God. I can't really change the world. I don't even want to change myself.

All told, I really kinda suck. Someone noted that I don't seem to get angry at my clients, even the ones who have done horrific things to people around them. I think it's probably because I don't really see a lot of difference between them and me, in terms of the potential to do really stupid, destructive things.

So when I cry out to Jesus, "Save us!", in the next breath I find myself saying "Crucify him!". Because really, it's hard to change and I don't really want to do it.

So what's the good news? Jesus died for me, a sinner. Not for who I think I should be, or who others think I should be. Jesus died for "those people" too. He can change the world.

So that's why I do what I do.

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