Part of the “process” of becoming a member at Hope Street is to undergo an interview with one or more person on staff. This is not by any means meant to be formal. It’s our way of really getting to know the person in front of us. After recently having been a part of many of these interviews, I noticed a trend. Almost every single individual at one point throughout the interview would emphasize “I stay to myself and mind my own business”. My first thought the first couple times hearing this was “that’s a red flag”. Hope Street could not possibly be a good fit for this person when we are a place that emphasizes the importance of community and being IN community with one another.
After talking more with these individuals and learning more about their past, something dawned on me. Sometimes you need to recognize the hardship of where someone is coming from in order to fully understand the meaning behind some of the things they say. What I mean by this is that someone saying “I stay to myself” really can be rephrased as “I won’t cause any trouble”- not that they’re incapable or unwilling to enter into the beautiful community we have here at Hope Street. I needed to take into account that oftentimes an individual who has experienced brokenness has been called a burden, an annoyance, a nuisance, etc. Thus there seems this need to address that “I won’t cause any trouble”.
Lord help us to see things from a different viewpoint. Unfortunately sometimes we wish things were simply black and white when in reality they usually aren’t. I pray that you continue to walk along side us and guide us along these interviews. Please give us the discernment to decide on those who move into Hope Street and peace with these decisions knowing that you have the ultimate authority over them Lord.