I had planned to spend the night at the church. it being the first night of our shelter hosting week. However, my guidance was strong to come home for the night. Now I understand that I came home to blog about this experience and to cry.
Images from the evening roll though my mind and bring tears:
- of Gratitude - at the closeness of God as our teams came together in final preparation for hosting the rotating shelter.
- of Wonder - our first guests arrive, carrying backpacks, suitcases, bags and some using walkers.
- at Realizing that some are using walkers or wheel chairs or just were releases from a hospital...
- of Seeing myself reflected in each one
- from Love piercing my heart and shattering my view of reality (God), once again.
- at Sensing how wide the heart of Renaissance Unity is open
- of Love for my friend Cindy, whom I really annoy at times ( I don’t mean too) and who always goes above, beyond and over the top!
- for Witnessing our church take on this project at so many levels!
- of Hope, shared with Rev. Jim, at how this project is opening us to Spirit in a whole new way.
- of Joy for many miracles along this journey
- of Happiness at watching friends Mitzi & Linda work together.
- of Amazement at the harmony demonstrated and the ease our teams worked together and our dining hosts/hostesses
- of Humility as two men played a serious game of chess after their meal.
- of Joy at when one of our guests asked if we had a Charles Fillmore book he could have.
- of Gratitude at the opportunity to lead this project.
- of Pride at watching this wonderful interaction between beloved members of our church and the beloved of God who were our honored guests
- of Wonder at how everything comes together perfectly in the most unexpected ways.
What a transformation of both the physical space and the inner space.
As Mark Henderson, from MCWC, arrived for his walk through, I could feel the butterflies in my stomach. Wondering if the ways we had setup the sleeping area and the dining room were good. Wondering how our volunteers would react when we started to receive our guests. Wondering about all of it.
When Mark saw the sleeping area, he said it looked good. When he swept his eyes around the dining room and noticed table coverings, and flowers on the tables and our "menu board" with its message of "welcome, tonight we are serving...". He looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, "Our guests will think they are in the wrong place." I told him that we wanted to treat our guests with the same honor we would a guest in our home and he said that intention was obvious.
Mark accompanied our guests who went out to have their smoke break in order to gauge the reaction of the guests to this host church. When he came back in he said that there was quite a buzz about the fact that our volunteers actually smiled like they mean it at our guests. I told hem it was because we do mean it.
Do you ever Imagine Oneness? I do, often. Tonight I caught a glimpse of what it might look like as a heart of our church was cracked wide open.
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Matthew 25:35-36
Copyright (c) 2012 by Richard L. Beattie, all rights are reserved.