"I am waiting because I must. Come, Lord Jesus, bearing bread and water. Hide yourself no more."
What a day we had yesterday. Lisa got not one, but two phone calls regarding groups of people who need hospitality because there was no room at the inn. One is a family--with a pregnant woman--who've been driven from their home because of a carbon monoxide problem, and the other is a group of boys that are part of a youth ministry. We laughed as these calls came back to back. Tuesday God says he's going to send us people. Wednesday, we've got a person. Thursday I tell one of my lovies, who is trying to decide whether or not to keep her baby because of a lack of support, that we'll receive them both: choose life. Friday eleven more souls are on the way.
As far as I know, our family of five hasn't arrived, but that isn't the point. The Lord is showing us there are needs all around us--surprising, often shocking needs, and few people open their arms and homes to welcome Jesus as he comes, bringing kids, and needs, and issues, and just whatever. But he's calling us to radical hospitality. Lisa and I love the irony that we keep being sent pregnant women during Advent. Isn't Jesus something? And you know he has a great sense of humor. Then again, so many people are hurting.
I asked Lisa at one point where these people are coming from. Surely the Diocese isn't reading my blog! How did folks know to call Lisa for hospitality right now? But she and Will have been here offering hospitality for four years. Not in the way it's beginning to happen for us now, that urges us to get a house, like, today! They've been building this work I'm just now stepping into all along. Our beloved community life is born of another community. My prayer is that God will make these connections clear to us all, and that we all, humbly, move into our proper places, so God can use us as he will.
Yesterday, I was asking God to open our blind eyes, and help Lisa and I discern what to do. I meant really practical steps. Before that, I was telling him what a dumb sheep I am. Spell it out for a sistah, Lord! And today, when I am tired; when I am enjoying languishing in bed after finally finishing the Teresa book, God Alone Is Enough, I am grateful that my Beloved has come with such wonderful assurance. For without him, and his constant guidance and provision, we can welcome no one.
Today's reading is from Isaiah 30:19-21, and 23-26. I'm going to just focus on what stood out in Holy Spirit neon today:
"The Lord will give you the bread you need
and the water for which you thirst.
No longer will your Teacher hide himself,
but with your own eyes you shall see your Teacher,
While from behind, a voice shall sound in your ears:
“This is the way; walk in it,”
when you would turn to the right or to the left."
These words wash over me, baptizing me in grace and peace. I just want to sit in silence and awe, and in gratitude at the thought of it. "This is the way; walk in it," is exactly the kind of guidance I asked for.
Beloved Jesus, you are amazing. Come. I have so much to tell you, and most of it is, "I love you."