Trusting God

Daily reading: Acts 1:1-14
Friday April 8, 2016

Focus passage:  When they entered the city, they went to the upstairs room where they were staying. Peter, John, James, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James, Alphaeus’ son; Simon the zealot; and Judas, James’ son— all were united in their devotion to prayer, along with some women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers. Acts 1:13-14

About a month ago, our neighbor who lives just across the street from our main entrance experienced a house fire.  She suffered severe burns on her feet and legs.  The entire contents of her home were consumed in the fire.  Without home owner’s insurance her family sat and wondered “what now?”

Carmen from the Mustard Seed and I went to talk to the family as they were sifting through the debris.  We asked how we could help.  In my mind I thought of getting donations of items for the home that had been damaged.  Mrs. Lopez’s granddaughter said they needed a container to put the burned items from the home in.  So I contacted Gary from the Downtown Church Connection and we asked for other partners to help with the cost of the dumpster rental.  It took two full dumpsters to help the family out.

Last Thursday during the day after attending Holy Week services at Trinity First, I saw that someone else in the neighborhood had placed very large items in the dumpster.  It was overflowing, about two feet above the fill line.  A couch and a number of large construction debris items had been added.  I was at a loss for what could be done.  I literally thought “what now?”  

I went to talk to Carmen and after getting over the shock of what happened, we decided that together with our community, we would find a way forward with God’s leading.

This wasn’t on my to-do list for the day.  It was far from it.  Thursday of Holy Week is crunch time for pastors, not fix the dumpster problem in the church parking lot day.  

My first thought was to have people come on Friday with their own pickup trucks and haul away the extra debris, only to find out that you can’t take that type of debris to the city dumps.

We then planned on taking out the extra debris, having the dumpster hauled away and returned to fill again and incur the additional cost.   At certain moments I had to remember to breathe, I had to remember that we had worship service in just a few hours and while my afternoon was reserved for planning Sunday’s Easter service I had something more pressing to deal with.  That’s the nature of ministry.

Our prayer was answered by a local non-profit businessman, who offered to come and haul away the extra debris for free.  

Never, never in the murkiness of the situation had I imagined that sort of answer.  The large debris, that I physically couldn’t move by myself, that had weighed me down in despair had been easily removed when our community came together, got the word out, and responded in a variety of ways.

Prayer: God of the resurrected Christ, breathe new life into the dead spaces of my world.  Amen.


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