"I am waiting to simply adore him. Come, Christ Child. I have a few gifts to give you."
So, the wee small hours of Wednesday morning had me ruminating on both my past, and my future. But I should tell you a little about what preceded those thoughts. On Tuesdays, we share a meal in community. On Thursdays and Sundays, too, but we've chosen Tuesdays to talk afterward, about where we are and how we can support one another. We do everything from discussing practical financial matters, to dreaming and brainstorming together. It's a lovely uplifting time. Will happened to mention that once The Living Room is positioned to receive grant money, it was unlikely we'd receive any for a two years.
It's been a long time since I've written grants or done any non-profit work, and most of the programs I wrote for were already well established. I simply hadn't considered that, and when I got home that night, the timing concerned me.
I heard in my spirit, as clearly as I could have heard a thing with my physical hearing, "You don't have two years. I'm going to start sending you people." And I thought, "Oh." I didn't make any spectacular plans. Just "oh." As in, "That's interesting. God is going to start sending people."
I wish he'd have said. "I'm going to send people, so go to sleep!" Because Wednesday morning I was awakened with an urgent call. Jesus was coming in one of his distressing disguises: a broke, very sick, pregnant woman with no where to go, burdened with some other very serious concerns.
If Tuesday and the night watch Wednesday morning was a wilderness, the bright light of daytime that morning found Lisa and I welcoming this poor and needy "least of these" in very active service. God kept his word, and sent us someone, and I believe he's going to send more and very soon.
Our guest was a gift to us. While we met her most immediate needs, she showed us how necessary a ministry of presence is in this city NOW. We've decided to open a house of hospitality immediately. I'm not speaking of the mission of The Living Room. That's something different, and we're going to do that, too. I mean a real house of hospitality, where we can always welcome Jesus. This is utterly foolish and completely impossible for us to do right now. That means God is going to have to do it. He's going to have to secure us a house, and many, many friends to support us, and I don't have time, as he's demonstrated, to wait for a grant, though we're absolutely going to put everything in place so that we can get that kind of funding.
There are so many lessons for me that yesterday taught, and I'm still meditating on what God is saying and doing. But I do know I feel like one of the Magi today, and the few gifts that God has endowed me with I'm ready to give them to him for use serving the marginalized--those he loves so very much. I'm grateful that in this blessed season as we watch and wait in wonder for his arrival, that Jesus assured me he's already here, setting things right.
Sweet baby, Jesus. So tender, so gentle, so beautiful. Today, I'm just gazing in the manger adoring you.