Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Creating A Spark

This week we had a fantastic mission speaker at church, Edwina Gateley, poet, theologian, artist, writer, lay minister, advocate, and single mom. The first night she spoke to us about Trust, as in trusting God, walking in faith, walking in trust that all our needs will be met.
She explained how God is always eager to reassure and comfort us so that we might believe in our possibilities and become a holy people. She told us the original word for “holy” in Hebrew meant “to practice,” as in practicing your faith.
Simply practicing our faith makes us holy…doing the right thing, reaching out to those in need. Holy isn’t reserved for only the special few. Everyone’s hands are holy….it’s what we choose to do with our hands that makes a difference. Do we use them to help—or to hurt--others?
The second night she spoke of personal transformation, how the Holy Spirit is always waiting to s-t-r-e-t-c-h us to recognize God’s presence in ourselves and all people. She told story after story of personal transformation in herself and the lives of the people she has worked with in Africa and on the streets of Chicago, where she ministered to recovering drug addicts and prostitutes.
Last night she challenged us to use our gifts to reflect God’s love in our dealings with others, in particular the poor, the homeless, the abandoned and marginalized people in our world. She acknowledged that bad things are happening the world over, but we can’t focus on that, we need to seek out the sparks of light and help those sparks to shine more brightly. Again, she shared story after story of personal transformation.
And she reminded us that every little bit of good we do makes a difference, to someone, somewhere.
So today was soup making day. I got out the stock pot and opened the freezer and filled the pot with leftover pot roast, crock pot chicken, an assortment of savory sauces and gravies made from previously made roasts, three bags of vegetables, and a magic array of spices. Took me three hours to get it to taste “just right,” but in the end, it all came together beautifully…and the aroma…nothing better than the smell of home made soup wafting through the house.
Unless it’s accompanied by the sweet smell of baking. While the soup bubbled, I baked two cakes, and cleaned the kitchen. Then, after the soup had cooled, I put it into the containers provided by the homeless shelter, and delivered it, along with two dozen pairs of socks I bought at Christmas time, but never got around to dropping off.
Tonight, someone without a home will at least be able to enjoy some home made soup, made with real beef and chicken, a piece of cake, and a clean pair of socks.
It’s just a spark, but it counts all the same. Is there somewhere in your life you can create a spark or two?

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