I just finished reading a tiny little book called “The Grace and Truth Paradox” by Randy Alcorn. I highly recommend it, and…it only took me about a half hour to read. Granted, I do read kind of fast, but still. Check it out. Anyway, here’s one of the parts that stuck out to me the most:
In the first century, Christ’s followers were recognized immediately. What gave them away?
It wasn’t their buildings. They had none.
It wasn’t their programs. They had none.
It wasn’t their political power. They had none.
It wasn’t their slick publications, TV networks, bumper stickers, or celebrities. They had none.
What was it?
With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. Acts 4:33
They testified to the truth about Christ and lived by His grace. Truth was the food they ate and the message they spoke.
Grace was the air they breathed and the life they lived.
The world around them had never seen anything like it. It still hasn’t.
And…conviction. For me, I mean. Working at the Mission has reminded me yet again of how important it is that I represent Christ. All. The. Time. That means when things are going great and when everything’s crazy, when people are telling me that they appreciate what we do for them and when they’re yelling in my face, when I see the love of Jesus shine through people and when somebody walks out of chapel because they can’t handle what’s being said. Regardless of the situation, I represent the God who cares about every person involved, and I’m learning what it means to care about them, too.
A couple months ago, I wrote in my newsletter (see the link at the top if you want to check my facts…it’s the May edition!) that I really felt like the Lord was leading me back into homeless ministry. What I didn’t mention is that I had applied for a job at the Union Gospel Mission in Yakima. In April, a friend mentioned to me that they might be hiring, so I did a little research (i.e. I checked the “open positions” spot on their website) and found out that, in fact, they were. Turns out that their Family Shelter was in need of a couple assistant directors. In looking at the job description, I realized it was exactly what I wanted to do, so I filled out an application and mailed it in. They got my application, but didn’t take it too seriously because they felt certain that the Family Shelter would be open long before the middle of June, which was the earliest I could start working. Skipping a couple months ahead to the first week of June…they still weren’t open. They had filled one of the positions, but still needed someone else. And they remembered that I had applied! So I got a nice little phone call, asking if I was still interested in the position (I was), and after 2 applications and 2 interviews…I’m the newest, and youngest, staff member at the UGM. All this to say, the Lord is good. Real good. He promises to reward those who are faithful, and I have seen that time and time again.
So, for various reasons, I won’t often be able to give you specific stories of things that happen here, but I’ll do my best to keep you informed and excited about the things God’s doing here!