At 7:30 am on a Saturday morning, I was sipping my latte amongst a gathering of church folk, all of whom had their work clothes on. The young woman standing next to me smiled. Jessica could not have been more than 30, and appeared to be alone. Her Christian faith was relevant, or she would not have been at this gathering. I asked her how it got to be relevant, when faith is not relevant to so many young people. For example, I heard that only 2% of Scotland’s people are of Christian faith and attend church.
Jessica smiled, and thought for a moment before telling me in a soft voice that she had a baby at 16. My eyes widened. She followed by saying she had another baby at 17. And then she got divorced. I didn’t know what to say. The clear implication was that she knew she needed help, and she needed help from a relevant God. She added that her parents were saved when she reached 25, and that influenced her life. She remarried, and now is 30, and here she was ready to jump in and spring-clean an outfit called Albuquerque Rescue Mission (ARM).
When all 120 of us from church arrived at ARM, the Director explained their mission was restoration of humans. Lots of homeless come through here. And some are indeed restored. Her face and tone of voice radiated joy. I hardly ever radiate joy! But she surely got me thinking about that.
For four hours we labored. I hardly ever do physical labor! I started by cleaning windows. Then transferred to cleaning the wall around the altar. Had to stand on a chair to reach up high. I helped a middle-aged lady called Penny climb over the altar rail to clean the huge wooden cross. Penny handed me a sealed envelope that had been taped to the cross. It simply said “To God” and under that “I need your help”.
In the cafeteria adjacent to the chapel, I mopped the floor for an hour. I never mop floors! Under the chairs and in between the chairs, row after row. I looked up at the front wall where were painted boldly the words “In Christ you are a new creation. The old has passed away and all things have become new”.
I went to the men’s toilet, where stood three urinals in a row against one wall. Above the urinals were the words “I am the way…….the truth……and the life”. This reminded me that faith should permeate my entire life. In the toilet as well as in the church sanctuary. In my bedroom, as well as on the dance floor on Friday night. In my work, and in my play.
Kudos to Jessica’s dedication, and to the other volunteers who got up out of the pews. Also to the church leaders who arrange an event like this once a month. To be honest, it reminded me of what Jesus would do if he came to Albuquerque.
The Gray Nomad.
Probing the practice of Christian believers……
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (II Corinthians, chapter 5).
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