Rejoicing in the Small Things

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By Marie Dukart
“Oooh Baby!” my friend and fellow CIC missionary Anna exclaims. I know why she’s so excited. The donation truck just brought us pork ribs and she’s going to make all 22 missionaries her Italian rib sauce.

“(J)yes!” Adrianna, the youngest missionary and the only one from Mexico, yells when she sees a homeless friend, and her face lights up like a Christmas tree.

Finally, there’s Trey shouting “War Eagle” when he watches Auburn University football games.
I have never been in a house where there is so much excitement or straight up joy about the little things in life. And this house is definitely not comfort central.

I am a Christ in the City Missionary. I live with 20+ people. All of our food is donated and sometimes moldy. Why is there joy in this house? Materially, we don’t have much; but we make up for it in spades with community, Jesus, and our friends on the street.

When was the last time you laughed every single day? When was the last time you got excited about simple things like coffee creamer or getting up at 7am instead of 6am? I have never lived in a house where each day I knew I would have to do at least 10 things I don’t want to do; but at the same time, I have never lived in a house where I honestly laugh more than ever before.

Why is there laughter in this house? Why do I know I have never been so alive? Case in point: when I went home for the holidays, I had comfort like nobody’s business. Good coffee, slept in until noon, read whenever I wanted, watched entertaining movies, and was spoiled silly by my mom. But my heart was empty, there was a void I couldn’t fill with things or pleasure.

That’s when it hit me: giving myself away, doing things I don’t want to do naturally (Christmas shopping with my mom for upwards of 200 presents, washing dishes for my community of 22, going out into the cold to serve the homeless a homemade meal) makes me feel alive.

Because of sacrifice and giving myself away, I am excited about the little things, and I don’t have that void in my heart that I carried with me for years. As Gaudium Et Spes no. 24 says: “[Man] cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself.” And that is what I have found being a Christ in the City missionary, I’ve found myself and joy beyond all telling.

Marie Dukart is a second-year missionary and an alumnus of the University of Mary in North Dakota. She’s passionate about Beauty, Truth and Goodness and naps.