“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” James 1:27
Like many children in high school, I was faced with the decision: What am I going to be? I considered my interests, talents and skills, and there was no clear answer. There were so many different career choices, each one having its own tug of war on me. When I asked myself what I wanted to be, I was convicted that I should be a Christian first. There is nothing nearly as important to me as having my entire identity bound up in Christ.
Now, given that definition, I still had to decide how I was going to earn a living. Keeping my identity in Christ central, I decided to pursue a serving professions. If a leading role of a Christian was to love, serve, and minister to the lost, why wouldn’t I pursue a career in which that ministry would not be limited to nights and weekends? I couldn’t do nursing (since I often lose consciousness at the sight of blood), I wanted to avoid an excessive amount of school (not a fan), and I didn’t feel called to be a preacher (at least by vocation). So naturally I landed on social work as my profession of choice.
It seems that social work is a field that Christians have shied away for some time. After my very first course I understood why. Some ideals of the field are in direct opposition to values held in Christianity. Nevertheless, the need for Christian social workers is great. How a Christian operates in this field is something I am still figuring out, but step by step I’m moving forward.
In recent years I’ve seen the tendency in myself to take the easy route. To find a place where I’m comfortable, surrounded by brothers and sisters who are like-minded, and stay there. However, our God is a missional God, who sends his people which generally means motion.
Through this, I see it as my mission to “go where the glow is low.” When someone asks where I see myself in five years, it’s such a difficult question when I hardly know where I see myself in five months. The fields are too ready for harvest, and the laborers too few to settle into that kind of certainty. I’m simply relying on God to bring me through, and shine his light through me.
Philip Fischer, Student in Impact at IUPUI