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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Where do the Poor and Disadvantage Belong in the Church Today?

God keeps putting this question on my heart, "Where do the Poor and Disadvantaged belong in the  Church today?" God has given me insight into two worlds.

 I grew up with money. My mom learned to drive on a 450SL Mercedes convertible. My Parents built a custom home on Larch Ave in Maple Ridge with a sauna and a pool .  My dad was one of the original Teamsters of the Teamsters Union. He had to always have three years worth of money, that would cover all expenses sitting in the bank. I remember not having a want for anything, when it came to material things.  I took allot for granted.

I never wondered where my next meal was coming from and ate in some of the finest restaurants, including the rotating restaurant in Vancouver, the Bedford House Restaurant. We had every toy you ever wanted. We traveled to Britain every year without a second thought.

I have also lived without. I know what it is like to live on government assistance, government housing. I have stood in the food bank lines, I know what it is like also to be turned away from the food bank. I have had to reach out to the church for assistance on numerous occasions. I know what it is like to struggle with your pride when you are in need and have no other choice but to humble yourself and ask for help. I know what it is to go long periods without food. I have lived with the guilt that my children have had to do without and the repeated no we can't afford it. I have lived in dread over school letters requesting money for another field trip.

I have to say I use to go to Church without a thought of what the simplest things at Church could be a wall someone else can't climb. God has given me wisdom through experience now to something I was once blind too, I am walking through.

I go to Church every Sunday morning. I sit there as the screen flashes another event, but with every event comes with a dollar figure or a needed cost. I get this image in my head of this very long glass window that I am standing on the outside looking in at all these beautiful people enjoying community while I wait on the other side of the glass waiting for an invite I can afford and except. Every once in a while someone will poke their head out the door and ask if I would like to share in what is happening and I graciously decline knowing there is no way I can afford to come in, but a few times the door has opened and someone tells me that they have purchased my way in so no worries, those are the times I feel blessed as I experience community in the presence of God. While standing outside I realize I am not standing alone as there are many that can't make it past the glass window.

I know that there is one door open to the church, it is the back, the door is labelled helpline that is always open in the time of need of daily living.

I have to be honest I have been leaning on the window for a very long time now, only going in on Sunday mornings and to the helpline as a very last resort, as I felt this was the only time I have been welcome. I have emailed pastors trying to figure out how I can participate outside of the help line with no response. I have thought repeatedly of switching churches, but God keeps on saying no. I get told the easy road is just that easy, but what is right is not always easy and takes time, my time. I am trusting that God has a reason and a plan and I will stay when he tells me to stay and walk when he tells me to walk.

I only know that I need & hunger to serve, learn and be in community as I walk with my Savior.

I ask you " Where do the poor and disadvantage belong in the church?

I have another image of a race. Every one is trying to get to the finish line, one of the runners falls and can't stand on their own, you are about to pass them do you stop and help them walk to the finish line or do you continue by either running as you scream "I hope you will be ok!" or say nothing at all.

What would Jesus do? What kind of race are you running?

Father help us to do what you would do. Help us walk the way you would have us walk. Give us your eyes to see what we need to see, break our hearts for what breaks your heart. In Jesus Name Amen.

Wow just found this devotional speaking on this, a day after I posted this: http://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals-new/tabletalk-coram/2012/08/24

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