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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Take It Outside

It's 9:54 am and I've already been up for almost 3 hours on a Saturday morning! I'm sitting at my laptop, covered in a quilt and perched on the edge of my bed (which doubles as a couch), typing away, as the smells of scrambled eggs, tatertots, and fried beef permeate the air. I smell like breakfast! (but not the breakfast I ate!) At 7:30 am I was at church, eyes barely open, ready to prepare a hearty meal for over 50 homeless people.

This morning we had a bit of an excitement. A couple of guys got into a fight part-way through breakfast but it all happened so fast, I didn't realize what was going on until it was practically over. Someone must have insulted someone else, there was some pushing and shoving and shouting and men rushing over to break it up. Meanwhile, I calmly stood at the coffee and cereal table, filling up the hot cocoa mix bowl, completely unperturbed by the testosterone filling the tense air. Someone shouted for them to take it outside and soon it had all quieted down.

As I returned to the kitchen to resume my post at the serving line, I began to process what had just happened. I realized that it could have quickly become a dangerous place to be in, if the situation had gotten out of control. I also realized that while I am afraid of unseen dangers, like the dark, I was completely fearless when faced with a volatile situation. Maybe it was my adrenaline kicking in, or maybe it's just the quirkiness of who I am. I am the type of person who gets annoyed and irritated and angry at the smallest things but big dramas don't phase me (at first!).

After breakfast, I headed over to the sanctuary to grab a bulletin before going home to change. I was on my way out to the car, when I decided to run back in and listen to the praise group practice before Sabbath School started. Still in my blue jeans, I slipped in and sat in the back pew. I noticed some of the people from breakfast were also sitting there and enjoying the music. I also noticed how comfortable I felt in God's house, sitting there in my blue jeans.

It bothers me, that when I finish serving breakfast to people who may know God but experience life in a completely different way than I do, that I go to the restroom, change into my "church clothes" and then walk into church and blend into the background. My horizon changes from individual hurting people to a sea of plastic smiles starched into perfect wrinkle-free suits and there seems to be a disconnect somewhere.

I saw a glimpse of God's love today. When I looked up to see those guys fighting, I glimpsed a young man standing between the two burly street-hardened troublemakers. He was a slim man, tow-haired, of average height, with an innocence that you did not see on the faces of most everyone in the room. Yet he stood there, firm and determined, disregarding his own safety to ensure the safety of everyone else.

Lately, I've been learning about God's love. It hasn't been by a specific book or a particular evangelist or someone laying their convictions on me. I haven't had a dream or heard voices. I don't even think there is a magical formula, but I do know that this is something I have been searching for, for many months, and it is something I feel I am finally beginning to experience.

God's love is compassion. It is genuine, truth, right, tender and kind. God's love is justice blended with deep caring and mercy. God's love is Who He is and I cannot even begin to understand the depth or explain its completeness. All I can do is experience it and be amazed.

1 comment:

  1. I love this! Thank you for sharing your experience this morning.

    Love you!

    Oh, I just finished a new book - Love Kirsten, about a 20 year old SM who was murdered last year in Yap. Her love and devotion to God is so fresh and wonderful. I highly recommend it. Real, sad, uplifting and heartbreaking.


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