Last weekend I went on a church retreat. The highlight for me was a seminar on social justice. The speaker was a lawyer who works with the urban poor populations, especially women who turn to prostitution to pay for their drug addictions. I won’t try to summarize the seminar here, but let’s just say I was moved by the heart she has for these women and her willingness to put her skills and resources to love those in need of God’s love.
This seminar was so good for me was because it rekindled the little bit of heart I have for the poor and marginalized people in our communities, especially children from broken homes. During college God taught me how to start loving the urban poor, and before med school I did my best to donate some of my earnings and pray for social justice. However, med school sort of put out any time/energy to engage with these issues. I am so busy and drowning in my training that I cannot also pour out myself for others. (I’m the one who needs to be poured into nowadays!)
I often fear that somewhere along my medical training I would lose the heart of God for social justice. I know right now I need to be focused on my studies so that later I can help others, but I keep imagining that by the time I’ve obtained the skills to make a big difference, I would no longer have the desire to use them for good.
I know I am not going to go start volunteering regularly at a soup kitchen or donate my non-existent money to mission organizations any time soon. On the surface it’s going to look like this seminar made no difference in my life. But I’m still thankful because it made me realize that the itty-bitty heart for the poor and the marginalized is still somewhere deep deep inside me. May the good and loving God keep the fire alive until the time is right.