Six months into my work as a Pastor/Mission Developer and I am finally writing my first blog post! Your thoughts and comments are welcome as I begin this adventure of blogging as part of our new ministry called Tapestry!
Last week I spoke with the people of Tapestry, our new bilingual faith community in Richfield, about the extraordinary work of God in the ordinary of our lives. We read the story of Martha anointing Jesus’ feet with very expensive oil one week before his death. The guests were having an ordinary dinner and then there is this extraordinary action by Martha in anticipation of the extraordinary life, death and resurrection of Jesus, this extraordinary promise and love for us!
The story can be found here in English: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+12%3A1-11&version=NRSV
Y aqui en espanol: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+12%3A1-11&version=DHH
I have to admit, that part of the reason I talked about this was because I was having trouble seeing the extraordinary work of God in the ordinariness of my life. I have heard it said that we preachers often preach as much to ourselves as to those listening to us.
And then, as so often happens, we experienced together the extraordinary in the ordinary. Thursday night we planned a community Family Night. We had invited women in particular, along with some of their children, to find out about resources for people who have been victims of domestic violence, including a presentation from Casa de Esperanza (http://www.casadeesperanza.org/) and a lawyer. It was a good presentation, but the people who came were all “professionals” from schools and other organizations.
Toward the end of our time together I left the room to use the facilities–what more ordinary thing is there! (TMI)? As I was returning to the gathering, I noticed a woman with her young son walking down the hall looking for something. I heard her speaking in Spanish so I asked if she needed help finding something. She was looking for another church group that worships sometimes in the same church as us. I told her they were not there that evening and I had thought she might be looking for our gathering. I explained to her what we were doing. She asked if she could join us.
“Claro que si!” I told her. She came in, sat down and shared her story with us. Her story was like so many other women’s stories and precisely why we had organized this event. Her vulnerability in sharing with this room full of strangers was indeed the Spirit moving among us. She and I spoke some more. She said she is part of another faith community but she has not found a place to be able to share here story there.
I shared with her that ss part of Tapestry, we have discussed starting a bilingual (Spanish/English) group for women, possibly with Casa de Esperanza or something based on a 12-step program like Al-Anon (http://www.al-anon-alateen-msp.org/index.html). This visitor and I will be in touch. She has another friend who needs support, too. We now have the opportunity to begin something new and needed in our community. We can start as an ecumenical group right away!
Two more notes about this encounter: This woman also asked about a group for alcoholics. We have bilingual people at Tapestry who are interested in this kind of a ministry, too! And, one of the English speakers who attended as a volunteer from Tapestry at the meeting found a way to use her gifts with young children by volunteering in childcare with MIRA (http://miraresources.org/) once a week!
God indeed works in extraordinary ways in the ordinariness of our lives. I pray our eyes and all of our senses are open to God among us today and every day!