Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Thought for Today....

I've felt drawn back to blogging recently...maybe it's because I don't feel like I can say all that I would like to say in that little space on Twitter or Facebook. Maybe it's because, as I get older, I think thoughts and then they are gone...so, maybe, if I write them down, I can capture them and hold them and revisit them later. For some reason, I've gone through a period of feeling like I don't have much to say, or at least no thoughts that matter in the grand scheme of life.

I think motherhood will do that to you, especially mothering high maintanence kids - even though only one of my kids is technically "special needs", they are both a handful and I think sometimes, just the maintaining of life and ministry and homework and dinner and laundry seems to suck every thought and energy out of my mind and body and there seems to be nothing left. By the end of the day, I have the mental energy for the monotony of knitting and television and that's about it.

I think my husband and my chosen vocation or "calling" does that to us as well....But, recently, I've been thinking more about things and life and homelessness and grace and church and God and family and....I think I need to start writing some of it down.

So, here's my thought for today...I walked through Mosaic on my way up to the office this morning and one of our street kids was at the counter. I have heard a lot recently about this particular kid and I hadn't yet put a face with a name, but I did today. This young man was the one that, last week, started a fight with an older homeless man outside of the coffeehouse and they ended up bringing some of their "issues" in...many heated words were exchanged, threats were issued, cops were called...and it goes on and on. We've had problems with this same young man in the past and he always tends to be belligerent, looking for a chance to claim that he's being slighted in some way. In the end, it was decided that he would be kicked out for a week, which he was very unhappy about. He claimed that it was unfair and exclaimed "I will never be back here again!" We heard of threats to break all the windows out in Mosaic, that we didn't truly care about homeless kids, and on and on...well, this morning, his week was up and guess who was back?

It was so strange as Mark and I walked through - Christi was fixing him a drink and getting him some Cup of Noodles. Mark greeted him and he grunted a semi-concious response. He definitely doesn't seem sorry or repentant in any way...he was driven in, maybe out of desperation for a caffeine fix or a place to sit and charge his phone, who knows. But, he was met with grace - doesn't mean that there aren't consequences for actions or that we aren't watching him closely to ensure everyone's safety, etc - but there is always a path back, always an offer of redemption.

This doesn't mean that it's easy to offer, in the day in, day out world that we live in of people treating us poorly, taking advantage, not getting what we think they deserve. But, I was reminded this morning while re-reading some of Brennan Manning's "The Ragamuffin Gospel" - he says, "The Good News of the gospel of grace cries out:  we are all, equally, privileged but unentitled beggars at the door of God's mercy!" I need grace just as much as this young man does and I'm no more deserving of it than he is - and believe me, I would bet that life has been kinder to me than it has been to him.

We all  have desperation in our lives and cry out for grace...I think that remembering this helps us as we interact with others who need us to be gracious to them. I need this reminder almost daily. I am no more important or deserving of grace than the crazy homeless girl with a barking dog that drives me nuts, or the person pissing me off while riding my tail driving through my neighborhood, or the "friend" on Facebook who posts again about some political cause opposite from mine...and on and on...A friend reminded my through a Facebook status recently that it's a privilege to do what we do here - it's a privilege to offer grace because we've been offered it over and over and that's what I need to remember today.