In recent days my attention has been on a couple of bigger projects I am working on. I have been organizing our Fandango. Taking care of the meal, the gift fans, the music and the decorations. I have had to pay some attention to raising support for the party. It is a big project. I have also spent considerable energy on our ‘Shalom Saturday’ which launches May 20th.
It is good sometimes to have bigger challenging projects but it would be unwise to miss the smaller things along the way. These smaller happenings are the stuff of life! These every day encounters with people are what life is really all about.
I had a conversation with a friend this week where she said “You ruined my week!” I could tell she wasn’t really angry so inquired asking just how I had managed that. “Last week in Bible Study when we looked at David’s response to Nathan when he was confronted about his sin. Do you remember what you said?” “Yes” I replied, “He owned it without excuse. He said “I have sinned”” She went on “All week, every time I got angry I heard those words and I had to ‘own’ my part in it! I couldn’t make excuses or indulge in fury.” We had a laugh and she expressed gratitude to God for this new found sensitivity to her own sin.
A fellow I have been ‘working with’ from the half-way house has begun to ask about baptism. He has made significant strides over the last few months. This progress was made through a long series of mostly innocuous chats during which time he saw my faith. There was no preaching. I mostly answered his questions but slowly, over time through a series of small encounters some important thoughts dawned for him.
I asked Val if she would open her government subsidized apartment to host our ‘Hopeful’ and ‘Purposeful’ Sunday evening programs. She enthusiastically said yes and her gift in evangelism has been unleashed as she invites friends and neighbours to join us. Our circle is growing because of her sense of excitement and hospitality.
Sean has just moved. He is so happy in his new place where he has his very own bathroom. He is anxious for us to come and bless his new place. It is so ‘cute’ to see the gleeful excitement in him. I have long had my own bathroom but only now am I appreciating it as I see my friend’s joy.
I sat and had coffee with an inmate who was out on a temporary pass. He didn’t want me to fix anything. He didn’t want me to even agree with him. He just wanted me to listen to him. He feels like no one ever does. I did listen and though I did reflect back to him a few things he was saying I ‘just listened’. Afterwards he was almost teary as he thanked me. He knows he can pour all this out to God but found it so helpful to have a flesh and blood human to vent to, as well.
These are the everyday things of ministry for me and though from time to time I may get involved in ‘bigger’ projects, nothing is really bigger than this. If I lose this perspective I do so at my own peril!