7 April 2010
So after that Mary time at Your feet this morning, I threw on my clothes, inhaled a slice of toast-and-jam and rushed off. I arrived at street church breakfast without even the thermos of hot water (for cocoa and tea) that I always bring, or the fudge that I had baked and put in the fridge for this morning’s gathering.
I listened to some “worship music” on my MP3 player on the way (which I haven’t done for many months). And even sang along a bit. Which I also have not done for a very long time. Sang along to the bits that helped to draw me to You. Like the song that was about walking with You, every day. And the song about the freedom found in You alone.
And when I got there (outside, grey and chilly when the wind came up), I helped do the simple little setup. Cereal and milk, and the boiled eggs and deviled eggs I brought the other day, and coffee and juice. Which only took a moment of two of simple serving, but still needed and appreciated.
And then I sat in a lawn chair and started to chat with those who came by. And this one guy was telling me about getting mugged and beaten up a few days back. And how bad things seem to happen one after another. And I was able to share, from his experiences, and from my own experiences, too, about how, when we come to the ends of our ropes, and there is nothing we can do, ourselves, to fix or solve our problems, then we are ready to turn to You. And so we can see that our piled-up-problems, when we are able to look back at them, are really a blessing. Because those seeming terrible problems and difficulties can really take us out of our self-sufficiency, and point us to You.
And later, one of the guys came over and hugged me and told me, over and over, how much they all appreciate me being there, and “what I do for them.” And I was able to thank him – thank them – for being a family for me now that so much of my family is grown and moved to distant locations. I said, “I feel like a mom again!” And he laughed and said, “But I’m probably older than you.” Then we compared notes, and discovered that we are the same age. “A very good year!” we agreed. So we decided we are twin-brother-and-sister in You. I was very happy.
And Pastor P gave me a ride home, for which I was grateful. Because it really was chilly-breezy-damp out, and I’d gotten really chilled and tired. And on the way he told me it is amazing how much the guys that come to the street breakfast respect me, even more, he said, than they respect their own families. But Papa, Jesus, Holy Spirit! It is YOU (in me, as it just happens to be in me that they happen to be encountering You), that they are seeing and respecting, isn’t it? Yes! Thank You!
After I got home, I tidied up, as my little grandson will be coming over for a visit while his mommy and daddy go to an appointment. I love that little guy, and can’t wait to see him. But I did need to do some child-proofing around here.
And then I sat down for a little snack and warm cup of tea. And I flipped on the TV, and there was a program in which they were talking about a gathering of First Nations peoples in Ottawa this coming June, which will be an “I forgive” response to the Canadian Prime Minister’s apology to Canada’s Aboriginal peoples some time ago.
And they were talking about how hard it is for the First Nations peoples to make this kind of response, and yet how it is necessary. And just watching the discussion brought up some pain, and yes, anger, in myself. My husband is also a residential school “survivor,” and the effects of that experience have not only affected him but to some degree, our family’s relationships as well. And I realized that I too have anger in respect to this, that I need to let go, that I, too, need to forgive.
But, perhaps, I at the same time do find it a little easier to accept many “street people” for who they are and where they are at, because I have experienced (through my husband, and his family, and his people) some of that incredibly deep pain that comes out of abuse and prejudice and “colonial” arrogance and so on.
Father, You do have purposes and plans for each one of us. You do prepare us for where You want us in the work of Your kingdom. And so it is true: the pain we go through can turn out to be a blessing, not only for ourselves as we open ourselves to You and experience Your forgiveness, grace, mercy, love. But also it can turn out to be a blessing as it spreads out, through us, to others, and through them, to still others in turn. And so Your amazing, eternal love reaches out to all the world. Totally available. If only we will accept it. Thank You. I love You, Lord.
Thank You for teaching me today, in all the places You have taken me. Thank You for opening my heart to hear and learn – and to long to pass this knowing You to others.