Wednesday, December 2, 2015

And Emeline always wraps herself around me for a big hug.

December 2, 2015

But You, O LORD, are a shield about me; You are my glory, the One who lifts up my head. I call aloud upon the LORD, and He answers me from His holy hill; I lie down and go to sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me. Psalm 3:2-5

The Prayer Appointed for the Week
Almighty God, give all of us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility.

There is strength and encouragement to be found in community. Last night mom and I braved the chill and the end-of-the-day weariness and joined together with others who are committed to the cause of welcoming the stranger into our midst, the refugee. And we were surrounded by those who count it a great joy to pour out their lives in great humility.

For God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but so that through Him the world might be saved.

And my daily labors at 55 North Sixth Avenue seem small in the big scheme of aching hearts and longing for place. But last night was a cheering reminder that it is not about me. It is about following in His footsteps. His compassionate footsteps towards the distressed and dispirited.

Like Derek who knows every single kid clinging to his tromping game-playing legs.

And Cheri who stands at the airport each week with big cheerful signs covered in saguaro cactus and American flags.

And the two Iraqi pastors who sat behind me and got kind of teary when I said I had two Iraqi sons.

Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs And carry them in His bosom.

And in my ten-and-a-half hour day today I will face small gatherings of distressed math-hates-me-Miss eyes and dispirited waders through big fat history books about the Missouri Compromise and Who is General E. Lee and lead giddy leaping and shoving troops along Pendleton Avenue through the folks camping out around the Main Library and past the cops handcuffing an assortment of trembling drugged out souls to an art lesson at the museum that I heard was full of string and glue and popped balloons and nobody following directions.

But in the midst of it all we will celebrate eucharisteo. And offer up whole-hearted thanksgiving for the life given that we might have Life. In abundance. And the candles will flicker. And we will read Psalms and Isaiah and Matthew together responsively.

He is my Glory and the Lifter of my head. And I will drink the cup and eat the bread in remembrance of Him. And go out in strength and courage.

With fifty ziplock baggies of chocolate chip brownies and tape and colored paper for the refugee tutoring center from my momma.

And the guy from International Refugee Center said the smallest things made a huge difference.

One of the refugee ladies said that my mom’s cookies were so delicious they made her cry with happiness.

Sustained in peace.