In the past few days I have uttered a phrase multiple times that really scares me…
“I think God is moving”
It scares me because—one, I once again think I can see and feel God and two, He’s moving. And not to get Old Testament on you, but when God moves things often work out.
Things started moving around Christmas, when I was chatting with Tim and realized that I was not more special than anyone I “serve”. I had been on the street for multiple Saturdays in a row and had heard of many things working out for my under-resourced friends. I also heard about gaps in the services they received. There were very specific requests for items. Not a tent- but a 4 man tent for a family (adults living and camping together for years) or a sleeping bag not just a blanket that the wind could blow through. We also did have a child and his father showing up for a month or more. That was a first in the years I have been out there. It was sad. It affected me when I thought about it, so I pigeonholed it into a spot of my brain I never used thereby allowing me to operate on a surface level.
Then through circumstances, created less by fate and more by a higher being I started telling my story to more people. A newspaper photographer came to document us feeding people on Christmas Day. I was invited to a couple committees on hunger in the city. Respect was shown me for just hanging out with my friends and giving them a meal. Granted I put some time and effort into it, but I did so because if I didn’t I wasn’t sure who would. Then friends, and one in particular told me to stop being lazy. I hear this more than I would like to admit. Especially from him. But it struck a chord for some reason. A statement he made hit me hard…you can do that, stop waiting for the perfect opportunity.
The timing seemed crazy. And I didn’t like the answers I was giving for questions like:
Why are we only providing a once a week meal? Why don’t you feed inside more often? What about people that need more than a meal?
The answer was almost always: “Someone else does that.”
The other place serves inside 5 days a week. That agency preaches before serving food. This agency gets people housing. They go to that hospital. They won’t cross the bridge. They won’t go past 82nd.
In fact, all of those answers were just a way for me to not think of people in true need. I was pigeonholing thoughts about making my life a little harder for a period of time because…life was nice. Comfortable. Easy. But 2012 seems like the year I need to learn what sacrifice is again. What discipline is…again. What prayer and love and joy are…again.
And through that maybe more than one person will be helped by my life.