Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Super Christian or Not

Last week I told you that I had been worried about burning out. But that wasn't totally it. I felt like maybe I was a little bit of a fraud. That maybe I wasn't a good enough Christian to be going downtown. If the people downtown don't know Christ, then I would be representing something they didn't know and I am sooo far away from being a "super" Christian.

As I said, I don't take lightly that God has given me this opportunity each week. I think it is an honor and a gift from God because otherwise I just wouldn't even be able to show up each week. And, it is changing my life, my relationship with God and the people around me. God is definitely teaching me and loving me with this ministry.

These past couple of weeks, the ministry has made a few changes and again I feel lucky. While I am intimidated by the changes, I'm sort of wondering what I'm going to get to see God do because of them.

This past Sunday I got to talk to C about making changes in his life and finding a way off the street. Two hours before I saw C, I would have thought that I would never be able to have that sort of conversation. But when we started talking it just happened and it didn't scare me. I care about C, as does everyone involved with the ministry. I wasn't alone in talking to C. A couple of other folks were there too. I still have a lot to learn but what an honor God gave me to just get to stand next to him, pray and tell him he mattered. I don't feel so much like a fraud now because I feel like God used me and He knew what He was doing and He gave me what I needed to do it. He made it possible. It wasn't really me. I just got the honor of being there.

This past week's lesson is don't count yourself short in what God is using you to do. If God gives you something to do, then do it with confidence because of who God is. He knows what he is doing.

And I am still not a super Christian. This next week, God might use me to hand out napkins and I'm ok with that. Whatever He wants, I want to be there.

Please pray for C.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Like Jesus

"Christianity is not about building an absolutely secure little niche in the world where you can live with your perfect little wife and your perfect little children in your beautiful little house where you have no gays or minority groups anywhere near you. Christianity is about learning to love like Jesus loved and Jesus loved the poor and Jesus loved the broken." Rich Mullins

I didn't post earlier this week because I just really wasn't sure what to say. You know, I love being a part of this ministry. I mean I LOVE IT. But, you get to a point and it just becomes sort of, I don't know.... routine maybe. I'm not sure that is at all the right word.

But, the last couple of weeks, I've sort of had this fear that I would soon be loosing my enthusiasm... or maybe start to burn out. And even though I'm talking about the ministry, I think really I might just mean with everything. When I got involved with this ministry I actually felt a desire to cut out things that weren't good for my relationship with the Lord and I wanted to be around people who had a passion for Him... not just people who knew Him, but people who were seeking Him and serving Him.

The thing about this ministry for me is this, I actually do feel humbled to have the opportunity each week to see God's people out doing something. I would even say, I think God giving me this opportunity is one of the ways He is showing His love for me. Seriously, I feel loved by God because of this ministry that God would allow me to know the people running the ministry and meeting the fellas downtown is a big deal to me.

But here's the cool thing, Just when I thought I might begin to burn out... God puts a whole new spin on it. Last Sunday the leaders of the ministry sat everyone down and discussed some new ideas. I'm excited about it because I don't want to burn out, I want to continue and I want to be surrounded by God's people with a mission. I want to be more like Jesus. I want to care about the poor, the oppressed. I want to know God. God is good and I'm thankful he has given me this experience and the chance to be a part of his hands and feet.

I'll be out of town this weekend but I'll be back downtown next weekend.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fall is in the Air

Sunday was another great day downtown. We had a group of 20 people go downtown with us and we had 29 hungry fellas waiting on us when we arrived. Going back to the parking lot has made a big difference. Lots of people have shown up the past two weeks.

The weather is getting colder and the men are starting to ask for things like blankets, hats, and coats. Last night I considered turning on the heat in my house, in the end I didn’t cave. I am clinging to the warm weather as long as I can. I’m in denial that I’ll have to change wardrobes soon, mainly because I don’t want to give up open-toed shoes and have to wear socks. But today, when I’ve been outside, I’ve been cold. I have on a blouse and a light knit wrap over it but I am still cold and of course, if I’m cold… I’m thinking of the fellas downtown and wondering if they are cold. Today a friend of mine asked me if we’d like some blankets. I’m so excited about getting those blankets because I know the people that can use them. By that I don’t just mean I know they can be used but I am putting faces to those blankets and I want the people I know to be warm.

I had jeans on this past Sunday when I was downtown, but I was still wearing sandals. R asked me if my feet were cold. They weren’t. We stood there and talked about how beautiful the day was and how the weather was cooling off. Talking to someone who is homeless puts a whole new spin on the weather cooling off. When I think of cold weather, I think of cuddly pjs, cozy sweaters, tall boots, warm blankets, hot chocolate, apple cider, and pumpkin pie. Those are the things I’d normally talk about with someone I was discussing the fall air with. But, I’m pretty sure my homeless friend had none of those thoughts. I tried to remember his situation as I talked to him. It’s just a whole different ball game for him. Spending time with people who have so little really opens your eyes to how much we have and how much we take for granted. I really need to just be grateful I have socks to put on and let my open-toe shoes go for the winter.