Monday, November 23, 2009

Can't see beyond the turkey!

We begin to prepare for the Free Market "Thanks & Giving" dinner, with parameters put on the night before the night even begins. We(the church) where TG will be held, is expecting 400+ guests, "The Problem" is that there are Too many volunteers!!!!!! Have you ever heard of such ludicrous behavior? I have never in my lifetime turned away a single volunteers, to block what God has laid on their heart and to tell them...No we got it. All I can think about is when Jesus is feeding the 5000 and a a follower of Jesus thinks there is not going to be enough food, he tells Jesus, "send them home" Jesus says "No"..'where is your faith, there will be plenty.' We are not even worried about feeding them, we are worried they will be in the way, or it will be heart is so sick with how we miss the big picture because we are so focused on the details that are blocking God's vision. I just got a message that a bus of St. Catherine's girls are coming! Can you imagine they want to spend their time giving and we tell them "NO". So funny...what is going to happen? I'm afraid for the volunteers who have given their time and love in hope of displaying what Gods teaching us to do...Love others...just simply love them.I pray the NM powers that be, will not show their fannies. But we want to tell God what we will do. Pray with me, for a night filled with love and Thanksgiving, Don't let it fail b/c of others shortsightedness. OH I'm nervous. I'm not telling my volunteers NOT to come...Bring it on! Not blocking God's blessings for anyone.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Bag Lady who stinks

Free Market:Meet Barbara

I met Barbara about 6 months ago, God has amazing timing. I met her through an individual who works with group home folks, Barbara was with her, I assumed by her demeanor and her dress and odor, she was from a group home. Barbara is in her 70's most likely, she dresses in layers of clothing, always bulky, very quiet, no eye contact, and always wearing the same denim skirt. We ran into each other at a meeting again in Church Hill at St. Stephens church. I wondered...what is "she" doing here? I just listened and barely participated, all new ground for me, still Barbara puzzled me.
One month later I attended another event for a local one time "Free Market" at the United Methodist Church and there was "Barbara" again. Same skirt, unkempt, little odor, greasy hair, a bit hunched over, just not a character I would probably spend much time with...Again...Who is talking to me about her? Could this be God nudging me?
I overheard her speaking fluent Spanish...I was so intrigued. We began to talk, I asked her about her languages, she did not "appear" Latin in decent. She quietly stated she was a missionary in Mexico for 23 years, I was shocked. I asked her many questions, she only answered a few. She remembered me from the FreeMarket, and I invited her to help me sometime....she came.

We spent more time together, I shared with her my son's struggles in Spanish, she offered to help. I took her up on it, ask her if she needed anything from me, she asked if she could take a shower and wash four items at my home. Barbara lives on Pope ave in Ginter Park, one of the most exclusive streets of it's day. She has no water, no heat, she receives $300 plus dollars from SS. per month, she hoards everything she finds, she sneaks out on Wednesday nights just to rummage through the recycle bins for the newspapers. She was left a home she cannot afford. Her neighbors have tried many times to get rid of her. She doesn't blend, she doesn't keep her yard pristine, she's different, she's a child of God.
Barbara is brilliant, she loves to read, she can tell me every verse I ask her about in the Bible. We have become fast friends. My kids are amazed at her intelligence, they don't judge her like I did. This story is not really about Barbara, it's about what God has shown perceptions, it could have been Jesus, she has loved me without a single question, I have so much to learn. When will I love like Christ? Do what Christ calls me to do everyday I'm alive?

She gave her whole life to Christ, she has a BS in English and a Master's in Spanish, she has since helped me tutor VCU students in Women of the Bible...she was really tutoring me.
Serving Christ, has helped me, fills my soul with real love, there is nothing like loving others just because God says so, knowing there is nothing in it for me, nothing but His love. He is teaching ME.
Becoming missions driven with my family, serving a long side my husband has been one of the biggest surprising blessings of all, the gifts are amazing.
Barbara is amazing. I look forward to her being a part of our family, she has blessed our home.