By Kathleen Boatman
My main experience with Redeemer’s Center for Faith and Work has been though the Gotham Fellowship, which I did last year. For those of you who haven’t heard of Gotham, it is nine-month, multifaceted approach of pushing the truth that God loves you into every daily, seemingly mundane activity, thought and situation. This was done through reading, teaching, community, and practical application projects.
One of our projects led to the biggest transformation I had during the program — an overhaul in my heart about two words that I had hated for some time:
For ten years I’ve worked as an assistant at an asset management firm with the same team. I love my company, adore my team, like my role, and absolutely hate my title.
But I didn’t always. My third year at Lazard, another assistant was growing restless in her role and shared her frustrations with me. She said, “What are you going to do next? Surely you’re not going to be just an assistant the rest of your life, right?”
Just an assistant.
That was the first time I realized how other people, or at least some people, saw my job. It was a stepping stone, a temporary position, something that no one would aim for. It didn’t require a college degree or necessarily a critical mind.
She eventually left the firm, but I increasing noticed these things. As I grew more insecure about others’ views of my role, I tried to soothe my wounded ego by telling myself, “People outside Lazard don’t really know what you do. You do so much more than other assistants.” When asked what I do, I often made sure to include that I used to be a social worker and would make the joke that I still do social work — just for a different demographic. So insecure.
During those nine months in the Gotham program, God showed me how my pride was blinding me, robbing me of the gift of work He had given me, and captivating my thoughts and putting my focus on my reputation instead of on Him, His love, His plans, and His work. Jesus didn’t consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing and obeyed the Father — even to the point of death. And he did this for us.
Knowledge of that kind of love has changed my vision of work. It has given me freedom from a prison I wasn’t aware I was in. A freedom which makes attention to titles and professional hierarchies seem absurd. A freedom for which this captive is grateful.