Tuesday nights=Street Church.
The Church is God's people and no walls are necessary. I am a stickler for language. Did you know we can't GO to church or attend church. At least God never intended for it to be that way. He intended for us to BE (A PART OF) THE CHURCH which includes us interacting intimately with the people who make up the church and patnering togeher to build God's family. No consumer worshipping, necessary or fancy schmancy building, no just coming and sitting in a pew to listen or be entertained by watching one or two people preach/sing, but so much more! God wants us to be the church by having relationships, helping others find Jesus AND get their daily needs met, praying together, taking care of the poor, and doing life together. Ok, off my soap-box.
So every Tuesday I am a part of the church that meets on the street. I gather with my friends at a bus stop for dinner, conversation, prayer, and some Bible teaching and dialogue. I love it. For six years I have been able to create amazing relationships and see God do some amazing life change. Tonight was a reminder that God gifts me through this Church , too.
After the night was over and I was heading to my car, when Wayne called me over to the bench where he was sorting his plastic bottle and aluminum cans for recycling. A little background on Wayne. When we first started Street Church, Wayne would come for the food and leave. At one time he wouldn't accept being called any one's friend because he didn't have any friends nor did he want to be any one's friend. Hugging Wayne was like hugging a pole, he wouldn't move or physically respond. Sometimes it seemed that he would even scoff at or efforts to share the Bible and God's love with others talk. Over the years God has done an amazing thing in Wayne, he has warmed up more than ever, never misses a prayer time (even has initiated it) or a hug, and one Christmas he even sang Silent Night out loud for all of us IN GERMAN. I love this guy.
All this to say that tonight when he called me over he said this:
"I have a gift for you. Well, it's not really for you, but for Isella. I found this stocking in the garbage by Big 5, it looks brand new and I thought it would be great for Isella's first Christmas, even though I know that getting presents isn't what Christmas is about I just wanted to give it to you for her."
The crazy thing is this isn't the first time I've received a gift from one of my friends who happens to be homeless.