Posts Tagged ‘unexpected’

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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When Spring Comes Early

When Spring Comes Early

“What have you to do with us?!?!”, asked the Legions of the Master,

Frantically.

Strikingly, their darker meaning like children doing mischief, “What are you

Doing here?!?! You’re early!

It is not The Hour.

No bud has yet sprung, and the earth is still

Ours. Our game of death is not yet over!”

Oh, when spring comes early!  Like Great News,

An early spring reminds even the addled that

Though winter…Death… still has its grip

On things, spring still arrives

At its hour, death’s game ends, and new life

Springs forth from beneath the blankets of hoarfrost. The victory trumpet

Of the Sandhill Crane high over head reminds us all

That neither we nor death decide

Spring’s arrival. And no matter

How long or short

The winter, no matter

How terrible its bitter grip, there is always spring.

There is always spring. Early

Sometimes, as if to say, “The tomb has always been

Empty. The field has never been

Yours.”