Tuesday, December 11, 2012
I have recently faded from listening to the contemporary christian music. I feel this is because I am growing in other ways, but when I do find myself listening to some of the older christian music I used to be hooked on I find this inner self. This part of who I used to be come back. The simple me before I was open to the truth of the world. This is a great feeling of innocence though, it reminds me that there is still need for innocence in the world. It also reminds me that within all of us and because of our human nature we are all the same when it comes to love. I am not talking about romantic love but the love that Jesus taught us in the Christian Bible.
This is a recap of what I have been experiencing the past few months in Chicago. The experiences I have seen have painted a picture of the love that human nature composes. What I recognize is that everyone no matter what race, income, gender, etc has moments when we come out of the blindness of reality and let kindness talk for you. I have been particpating in an amazing ministry in the South Loop. It's called South Loop Campus Ministry and was started up by a local pastor I am friends with from the Bridgeport neighborhood. I was invited of course because I'm a college student and I sometimes attend the church in Bridgeport. I went the first night to the South Loop campus ministry at Grace Point Church on Dearborn and expecting to meet 15-20 other college students and make new friends. Out of my surprise my new friends were not other college students, but homeless folk. That night at the ministry there were 3 college students including me. My boyfriend, our friend Charlie and myself. We ate the dinner that was made for us and the 4 or 5 homeless people joined us for a meal. The thing about this ministry is that it was initially for college students in the South Loop, but the house was opened for anyone in the area so the homeless folk are welcome to participate as well. Well, after our meal that night there were tons and tons of bread, lunch meat, chips, cookies leftover. Pastor Tom had mentioned lets just pack up the extra and take it to the people on the streets. Not one of us questioned him. We all looked at each other and began packing up what we had with what we had! We had plastic shopping bags, plastic bowls and saran wrap. The 4 of us began getting this food together and in a matter of 20 minutes we found ourselves walking the streets of Chicago down to Michigan Ave and Grant Park then back up to State and Dearborn. We found the people living on the cold streets and they were more than happy to see us. After doing this that night my heart was pounding with some sort of joy. A spontaneous mission turned into hope for about 20 people that night.
Well this mission did not end that Sunday. The South Loop Campus ministry still is in action today. Almost every Sunday night we have been gathering at Grace Place to make sandwiches, eat and, make friends. It seems like each night there are more of us involved as well. The homeless folks that come tell us stories of their lives in the shelters they are living in, and about their past careers. Many have lost jobs, many are retired veterans, many are out of college and can not find a job. They are people with dreams and goals just like myself. I think that I why I seem to have a hard time distinguishing who at our table of about 30 people is homeless and who isn't. To me now this does not matter. We all have our stories and our communities that we are from. This has just become our time to collaborate our lives and communities together.