Thursday evening a group of us got together to begin plans to put some feet to what our community is calling Turning Point. TP a new arm of ministry that cares about serving the poor. Though we have big dreams, we realize we have to start small and are committed to the long haul, to let things grow over time. What we do know is that this is who we are to be, the reason we exist.
We met for a meal before our planning time. We had finished dinner, and we were taking turns noticing where we have been and where we are heading on our journey together. Jim talked about the Shalom of God, the sense of wellness and putting things to right that comes from God. We each had a glass of wine and had broke bread, we were about to pray and take communion together when we looked up and a man was standing at the head of the table.
He had come in without us noticing. He asked if we had any food to spare. He and his family were homeless, living in their van. We got up and began to gather up food, we had food in our kitchen, leftovers from our dinner...while we were gathering food, he told a bit of his story. We gave him a number for the homeless shelter we partner with, he was overwhelmed, thanked us, asked if we had any gas vouchers as he used all his gas running his engine at night to keep his family warm.
We gave him a few dollars for gas and he went on his way, very thankful.
We sat stunned by what had just occurred. It was a holy moment. NT Wright calls these moments "thin places" between heaven and earth. We savored the moment, prayed, took communion and our meeting ended up very productive in light of the experience we had together.
Here is a Scripture I have been thinking about for years...
A Full Life in the Emptiest of Places
10If you are generous with the hungry
and start giving yourselves to the down--and-out,
Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness,
your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
11I will always show you where to go.
I'll give you a full life in the emptiest of places--
firm muscles, strong bones.
You'll be like a well-watered garden,
a gurgling spring that never runs dry.
12You'll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,
rebuild the foundations from out of your past.
You'll be known as those who can fix anything,
restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
make the community livable again.
I hold on to this as a mission statement for us...God is very good