Raindrops and Teardrops…Reigndrops

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Raindrops and Teardrops…Reigndrops

A well-meaning person told me the other day that there are no apostles now living.  He told me that there were only the twelve from the Book of Acts.  It seems to me that “apostolos” is simply the Greek word for the Latin word “missio”, which means one who is sent.

April is 14.  She has dreams and hopes.  And she has mountains to climb.  Her spirit is gentle even though she has every reason to be bitter.  She lives in a tumbledown row house two houses down from our food pantry.  A gang has moved back onto her block and they are selling drugs next door to her and on the corner.  Break-ins are happening all over the neighborhood again because of it.  At night…every night… there are ten or twenty stoned or drunk people hanging out on the corner yelling a hundred feet from her house and causing trouble.  Sooner or later, there will be gunfire.  She knows it.  I know it.  What if she’s walking by?  What if her little brother, Michael, is on the porch?  She doesn’t sleep because of fear of a thousand things that most people don’t know happens all the time…don’t want to know happens.  She is afraid that her mother will have a fatal seizure, and that her stepfather will invite a drunken fool over again who will assault her, and that a random bullet will come through a wall and kill her or someone in her family.  She is an honor student at her school and couldn’t afford the $30 graduation fee the school charges so she could walk across the stage and have someone…anyone…clap over her hard work and courage.  Will anyone with the power to change her reality care enough to get involved in her life and stay involved?  Everyone that has ever gotten involved has quit on her.  They think they just ran out of time and quit.  It probably never even crossed their minds that they were Christ to her…someone sent by the King to be a message of hope with their hands and heart. Where is the Gospel for her? April knows where it is. “Behold, I bring you good news of great joy which shall be to all people. For unto you (April) is born this day in the City of David a savior, the messiah, the Lord.”  And yet in all of this brokenness, April is the Kingdom of God walking around. For April, the blessing comes in raindrops and teardrops…Reigndrops.

Justice is 14.  She is a bright, inquisitive and a sweet soul…a little into everybody else’s business, but so is every other teenager I know. She likes to draw and write.  She lives in the other half of the house that April lives in.  And her power is about to be turned off.  No lights.  No refrigerator. No fans.  Nobody even donated a cooler or a flashlight when we mentioned the need.  I guess they figured somebody else would do that.  I guess they figured that the cool little fish on their bumper was all that was required for participation in the present Kingdom of God. Or maybe they figured they helped one time last year.  All of the things that April is afraid of, Justice is afraid of.  They have a web of needs and fears in common even though they fight all the time.  Justice’s mom says she can’t work due to disabilities (she walks with a limp and often with a cane), and the guy that lives with her mom and her can’t get work, probably because he’s not hirable.  Justice’s mom gets no Social Security disability assistance.  She wants to move, but doesn’t have anywhere near first and last month’s rent on a new place.  Where is the Gospel for Justice? Will her hovel of an apartment be lit by a star shining in the East? If she does manage to move, will we lose touch with her? Where is the Gospel for her? Justice knows where it is. “…the people who sat in darkness (Justice) have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death (Justice) light has dawned.” And yet in all of this brokenness, Justice is the Kingdom of God walking around. For Justice, the blessing comes in raindrops and teardrops…Reigndrops.

Al is 15.  He has a full name but he doesn’t tell anyone what it is.  He doesn’t tell anyone because he thinks it’s embarrassing and it might get him beat up.  And he has been beaten in ways that most minds cannot comprehend.  He was born addicted to crack and has all the crippling side effects of being a crack baby now grown up…hyperactivity, impulsiveness, ADD.  He went into the system and bounced from foster home to foster home.  He was abused in every one of them. He has no contact with his mom and doesn’t want any.  His father finally got him back a few years ago.  Then his father beat him mercilessly.  Now, he’s a runaway…or more a walk away.  Nobody came looking for him or wanted him so I don’t think you could actually call him a runaway.  He’s been couch-surfing at a kid’s house who lives on his own under state supervision due to a juvenile conviction and incarceration.  That kid’s parents don’t want him back, either.  Nice influence, huh? Al is a cast-off, an unwanted.  He never shows his fear, but he lives in utter fear.  He lives in fear that all those people are right…that he really is unlovable. He lives in fear that he’ll be sleeping on the street tonight or tomorrow night…that he’ll be put back into the system.  He trusts no one because no one in his life has ever been worthy of trust.  They love him until he pisses them off.  Then they beat him and throw him out like so much trash.  Now he tests people.  He does ridiculous things just to see if you mean what you say when you say you care about him.  No one’s ever passed the test, I guess.  Where is the Gospel for him?  Is there a manger somewhere that he could come and find hope nestled in? I mean, he’s slept under bridges and in abandoned buses and houses.  Is there a place of hope he hasn’t yet found? Where is the Gospel for him? Al knows where it is. “For God so loved the world (Al) that he gave his only Son, that anyone who trusts in him might not die, but have everlasting life.” And yet in all of this brokenness, Al is the Kingdom of God walking around. For him, the blessing comes in raindrops and teardrops…Reigndrops.

These are some of the new apostles…those sent out into their tribes to make new disciples.  They fall like raindrops…or teardrops…on others with stories like their own.  Every can of worms opens from the inside.  Transformed by hope and pain, a work of God’s art still in need and still in progress, they fall upon their worlds, and blocks like rain…or Reign. Reigndrops. 

Want to get involved? Come and visit us and they will show you how.

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1 Comment »

  1. Chuck Said:

    The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
    He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,
    2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
    to comfort all who mourn,
    3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
    to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning,
    and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
    They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.
    4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins
    and restore the places long devastated;
    they will renew the ruined cities
    that have been devastated for generations.
    5 Strangers will shepherd your flocks;
    foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
    6 And you will be called priests of the Lord,
    you will be named ministers of our God.
    You will feed on the wealth of nations,
    and in their riches you will boast.
    7 Instead of your shame
    you will receive a double portion,
    and instead of disgrace
    you will rejoice in your inheritance.
    And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
    and everlasting joy will be yours.
    8 “For I, the Lord, love justice;
    I hate robbery and wrongdoing.
    In my faithfulness I will reward my people
    and make an everlasting covenant with them.
    9 Their descendants will be known among the nations
    and their offspring among the peoples.
    All who see them will acknowledge
    that they are a people the Lord has blessed.”
    10 I delight greatly in the Lord;
    my soul rejoices in my God.
    For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
    and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
    as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
    and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
    11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up
    and a garden causes seeds to grow,
    so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness
    and praise spring up before all nations


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