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Month: March 2017

Mindless Musings

Mindless Musings

Anxious, disjointed, and distracted…

Never been a time when Eric was without pain or condition. Major surgery every 3-5 years. Gastrointestinal, esophageal, and spinal. It is our normal.

In spite of his brokenness, God uses him mightily. He brings hope and respite to his sheep. They adore their beloved shepherd.

When first appointed to Santa Monica, Eric was deeply convicted. He saw hungry folks on the street; deciding that if there were so many in his midst starving, he could go without. Eric made it a practice to eat half of his lunch, and bless a homeless person with the other half. He could afford to go a little hungry. This partial long term fast resulted in significant weight loss and a decrease in blood pressure.

He approaches life with peace in his spirit and love in his heart. Every time I think that I have become comfortable with our homeless ministry, Eric pushes me further. Let the pitbull worship in the sanctuary. E says that if it’s the only thing keeping them from Jesus, let the animal in. Okay then, how about a couple more dogs, a cat, and don’t forget the bird! I don’t know whether to call our corps the circus or the zoo.

No matter. Today we had to ask people to scoot closer to make room. Chairs were brought out to line the aisle ways. Who comes? The rejects of society. Those that are absolutely down and out. Destitute without the basics like food and shelter. Yet not without hope. It is in the corps that our broken, rejected sheep find solace, comfort, and acceptance. They eat food literally and spiritually. We cannot save them. All we can do is point them to the One who can.

Eric and I find out in 7 hours how the surgeon wants to proceed. Possibly more surgery. Growing weary and heavy laden. In Him I will find rest.

I see them.

I see them.

Raised in a safe culdesac suburb. Attended a large Lutheran congregation. Didn’t help the homeless. Didn’t really know of their existence. Church was a club.

Was introduced to those living on the streets through The Salvation Army. Declared that this was NOT my ministry.

Was placed in Santa Monica. The Mecca of homeless. Had no bearings, context, or skill set to minister to them. It was too big.

Hid in my office for two years. Avoided contact. Cried. Failed. Failed some more.

The scales are coming off. Our friends have been praying fervently for Eric’s recovery. They genuinely love Eric. This love is changing people. In particular, me.

My heart breaks for these folks. They don’t want to be mentally ill. No medication. They don’t want to be sitting in their own filth. They don’t want to be treated like rabid dogs. They need love more than most. They are considered the worst.

Eric and I currently pastor a congregation of 100+ folks. Most are homeless. They call our church home.

I know why people don’t help. It’s unpredictable. Scary. Unpleasant to the senses. I did not see the homeless as people. I simply never saw them.

I am witnessing the transformative power of love. Our homeless friends are changing me. I am more empathetic, compassionate, and patient. I am closer to my Savior after having built relationship with our friends.

Christ’s love cuts through the messiness of homelessness. These are daughters and sons. Brothers and sisters. Mothers and fathers. I love these precious souls. Now that I finally see them.