Author - Laura King
I awoke this morning talking to Jesus before I ever cracked an eye. I will be honest, most of my mornings don't start that way. I usually don't talk to Him until after my shower...I guess it's kind of like some folks morning coffee. It just takes a bit for me to get started in the morning but today was different.
I was asking Him to soften my heart and break any hardness that was trying to take root inside. Most of my life was spent with a hard, angry heart and now I quickly recognize when that hardness tries to creep back in. I never want to go back to the darkness that I once walked in.
Working, doing ministry at the Ministry Center is life altering and life giving but the enemy can take even a good thing and try to use it against you. We encounter all of humanity here. The rich, the poor. The upstanding citizen and the felon. The housed and the homeless. The hardened and the broken. The sober and the addicted. The churched and the godless. They...we all intertwine here.
Of the people groups I mentioned above, half of them are welcome everywhere in our community. The other half aren't welcome anywhere except places like the Conway Ministry Center. God has called us (the CMC) to walk in this grey area and unite people from both ends of the spectrum and some days...some days it's hard. Some days you get angry at the injustice. Some days progress made hits the reverse button. Some days the enemy whispers in your ear that it's somebodies fault or maybe you just aren't cut out for this and that little seed of bitterness gets dropped in the soil of your heart. Then there are days when it all comes to a head and you cry out to Jesus in the early morning hours.
As I drove my swollen-eyed self to campus this morning I decided to go visit the Storehouse Client Choice Pantry before I headed to the office. I stepped in to the intertwining that I spoke of above, people from all backgrounds and walks of life. I stepped into the volunteers praying over the clients that would be coming and themselves, asking God to help them see with His eyes.
I walked into the office and heard a client sobbing over a dire situation with her child. I made my way through the door and saw the case manager sitting with her on the couch, comforting her. The phones were ringing with people on the other end who need a helping hand and a little compassion.
In all of this God reminded me that He is here. He reminded me that I can't see everything. God is working on behalf of those that are cast down and unwanted. He is using people to reach into a hurting humanity and accept them where they are. He is using places like the CMC to do life with those that are hidden... to bring them into the light and out of the darkness.
So, today as I write, my heart is free. I pray that each time the enemy tries to whisper in my ear or is bold enough to yell in my face...I pray that I keep running to the One who freed me...the One who saved me...the One who loves me in spite of my faults and shortcomings.
Author: Laura King - Director of Devlopment & Public Relations
here are so many things swirling through my heart and mind but every word that makes it to the screen just sounds angry. I began to question myself..."what am I so upset about?" I realized that at the root of it all was broken-hearted disappointment. The anger was really just a mask for my own character flaws. If I am being honest...I don't really like it when God points out my ugly parts. I am thankful that He doesn't just point them out but uses them as teaching moments.
The staff here at the CMC and many across this city work everyday to extend dignity to those that have been stripped of it and push forward to give a voice to those that have been silenced. That gets weary at times, one step forward and ten steps back. It's easy to point a finger and lay blame...it's easy to get righteously angry. When I can point an angry finger it relinquishes me of the responsibility to keep pursuing. It relieves the pressure of pressing on...that anger says I no longer have to hope for change.
In Proverbs 13, scriptures says that hope deferred makes a heart sick but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life. My heart is sick today. I long for a world where all of God's humanity is equal. I long for justice. My hearts yearns for a day in my hometown where a beggar has a seat at the community table and we all break bread together. I seek a day when those that "have" no longer fear those that "don't."
As much as I long for those things...I am also guilty. I am guilty of pointing my finger at those that I think are wrong because it is easier than examining my own heart. God reminded me that He hasn't called me to fix anything and He certainly hasn't called me to be a holy finger pointer, He has simply called me to walk, to love, to forgive. I lose sight of that.
Growing up I heard the old timers mention the "good fight of faith" For me the good fight of faith is cloaked in love and bathed in reconciliation. The good fight is laying the anger aside, facing the disappointment and reaching out anyway. The good fight is walking out my faith with others in this community and continuing to hope...continuing to hope for change that is inclusive of all of God's creation.
The CMC staff love to write and enjoy telling the story of the Ministry Center in our own unique way.
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