Tonight I went on an endeavor with a small group of people from my church. We went to go hang out with the ladies and kids at New Life Interim Housing in Chicago. You can learn more about that program here.
I really don’t want to write about my experience there as a suburban white girl who is volunteering with those ‘less fortunate than herself’. I don’t want to write about how I’m going to make this a tradition every year around this time. I don’t want to write from a position of privilege looking down on another person’s position of misfortune. I don’t want to write about sharing a meal and fellowship with a group of women who I will never see again. I don’t want to write about giving myself a pat on the back for doing my good deed.
I want to write about how I was called, in this experience, to be. Plain and simple. I was called to be. I was called to be there; to hang out with a group of people and share some pizza and laughs. To chat about my life and theirs. I was there to be.
We read some scripture after dinner … sitting in a fairly small and intimate circle we heard the passage from Luke 2, the Christmas story. After reading the words, we were asked to share anything that stood out in the passage. For me, in that moment, what stood out in that entire passage?
right there … plain and simple in verse 10.
ALL the people.
That small group devotion was sacred. Everyone shared. Everyone contributed. The gift of life and love and God is for all people. Not in spite of my background, because of it. They showed me grace, love and God.
These women were gracious enough to allow me in their door and into their lives for an introduction tonight. I want to be a part of these women’s lives … and not because of their situation and my “generous nature”, but because they have something to share with me about God and life and love.
One of the ladies shared about how she felt she needed better time management about praying, reading scripture, and making time for all of that. I’ve had that exact conversation in the recent past. I chatted with her after the group finished — we have the exact same issues with that. I want her as my accountability partner. She gets me.
I’m returning again to hang out with these wonderful people. I think it’s safe to say that you’d have a hard time keeping me away at this point. My heart got in … and it’s not leaving.