A prime example is me fighting back tears most of the morning while running errands. Here's why...
You see all those red dots? They stand for someone who needs life change. True life change that comes from the purest love. God's love. Last night we walked through our sections and prayed over the names of people. The hardest hit one...My Marriage. Someone, who sat very near to us, came to church for hope. Hope for their marriage. I sat my big 'ol rear right in that chair and cried and prayed.
The truth is we get so selfish in our own worlds, in our own circumstances, in our own bubbles, in our own circle of friends, in our own families...we fail to recognize or even ASK ourselves into someone else's world.
This very idea of where I stand in selfishness has consumed me, and I am broken about it.
For months we have served at Tulsa Homeless Outreach. We have built relationships with certain individuals. We know their struggles. We know their history. We know their shames. We know their needs. We help fill their immediate needs. We pray with them. We leave.
Up until now, that has been my level of comfort. Then there's that nudge.
More. Do more. This is just the beginning.
Ummmm, yeah. Actually, I'm good right here. Right here in the arena of my own selfish comfort zone. I mean, isn't meeting basic needs enough? That other stuff is a messy job. Isn't there someone more qualified to do that part?
So here's where it got messy for me.
Our calling this weekend was to fill our personal seats in church with someone who needs it. Immediately the name Amy popped into my mind. I know a gazillion Amy's. I'm going down the list like roll call on the first day of school and none are settling. By this point I'm totally frustrated at what stinkin' Amy I am supposed to get in touch with. Ahhhhhhhhh!!! (Such the patient spirit, I know!)
Then it hits me. Amy, mother of 6. All of which are dispersed throughout OK's foster care. Amy, drug addict who put down the needle a few months ago, but still has an addiction to meth. Amy, who is on and off the streets. Amy, who has sought out the help of my mother and myself. Amy, who is walking into churches for help and being turned away.
This. Is. Messy.
Where is my back up team for help?
Answer: Greater is He who is in me, than in the world. -1 John 4:4
Yep, that's the answer I got. Twice.
So out of my comfort zone I went to ask Amy to be my personal guest at church. She was super responsive. In asking what she needed to feel comfortable in church she said, "A bra." So bra shopping I went today.
(SIDE STORY: I love my own precious offspring made note that I didn't have boobies to fit into something that big when I was choosing one I thought she'd like and then AGAIN the next aisle over. Yeah, those kids are PRECIOUS! Explaining why I was purchasing a bra for someone else was also interesting.)
My next step is figuring out how to get Amy to church. Where is a safe place to meet her and what other companion is going with me to pick her up? Although, I know I am the person she knows and trusts to get her to church, I still have a responsibility to protect my own children. My kids know Amy fairly well, but riding in a car right now with her is not something we are ready to expose our kids to just yet. They need some protection and filter right now. So Steven will be taking the kids in one car and I will be picking up Amy in another. I know these details will iron out, but do you see where I am in the mess?
It's a beautiful mess, but a mess. And here's what I know. Her 6 kids are counting on someone to be a liaison with their mother. Someone to get her to the place where she can have an intimate relationship with God. Which is the only way her life will change for good and change the life for her children.
Amy is hungry for change, but trying to do it on her own on the streets. I'll keep you posted on this journey, but I wanted you to know why there has been an absence. It's been an emotional week. Wonderful, but emotional. So if you catch me crying in public, now you know why. I'm only half crazy this time around!