The Lord speaks, what is he saying to you today? He speaks in and through all sorts of things and persons…
Creation - the breath taking sunset and the pouring down rain.
Situation - getting a free coffee on your way to work and falling hitting your head on the edge of the coffee table.
Things - that gorgeous new cocktail dress that you saw in the window and a yummy new recipe you made from scratch.
I think you get the idea – This list is as endless as the stars in the sky.
So I ask you again what God could be saying to you, that you are missing?
Situation - Just over a month ago I was getting off the bus coming home from a lovely encouraging dinner with a couple friends. It was a dark wet night, but I was happy, as I bounced off (quite literately I was bouncing) off the bus and making my way up the street POW! Out of nowhere a lady hit me in the face. I was completely blindsided! I put my hand up to my injured cheek bone and slowly turned around exclaiming “oooooooouuuccch.” I noticed that she was wearing very little in the way of clothing, as she stumbled away not even caring to look back I decided that if she wanted to she could probably beat me up, so still clutching my cheek I walked home bewildered and a little scared.
I am not telling you this to try and make you feel sorry for me or to think I am hard core. I am also not trying to make any kind of theological argument about “why bad things happen to (relatively) good people” or anything of the likes. I tell you this because it happened to me, and I am choosing to hear God speak to me in it. So what am I hearing you ask?
Although I do not know this woman, and I cannot say anything about her for sure, I can imagine that she in one form or another has been abused, used and beaten down. I am quite sure she was drunk or high or both and probably feeling pretty good or at the very least numb. And then BAM! I enter, in my bright blue pants, blond hair and large hat, into the dark dreary picture chipper and bouncing! Oh gosh can you imagine? I am sure she took one look at me and thought “what the fuck is she doing in my neighbourhood?” In many ways I probably represent all that has been stolen from her, through the years of misuse and neglect. I do not blame her; I think in a small way I understand why she would have lashed out at me in anger, and ultimately pain.\
I believe through this situation God is teaching me how to love my neighbours. That is a pretty broad statement, so let me break it down for you. I am a loud and vibrant woman, both in volume and presences. This is how God created me, and I know that this is not a negative thing. That being said I stick out in the DTES like a sore thumb. Not only do my bright pink and fancy hats shout out but also the way I carry myself with confidences and I’ll bet some pride. As I walk these streets I can only imagine how I am perceived by those around me. I represent wealth and power. I represent the world that has rejected and even worse stomped all over them. I know God is not asking me to erase my personality, but I do think he is asking me to lay down my right (to be flamboyant) for the sake of my neighbour. I hear God asking me to walk these streets in humility and respect, to have a quiet and gentle spirit that welcomes people in, not one that is loud and pushy. I think I have been walking these streets offensively. I am still wearing my pink and hats, but I am trying to tone it down when I am walking the streets of the DTES. With the help of God I am walking with humility, praying as I go, trying to not yell out “I am here! Look at me go! Aren't I fabulous?” I believe that in this way I will walk theses streets in love.
Jesus you hear us, you see us, you love us, please by the grace of your Holy Spirit give us your eyes and ears, please teach us to walk these street on which you have placed us with joy, love, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, and self-control. Amen.