As I write, the 11:00 AM worship service is nearly over. I had a few donations this morning. Yesterday was cold and very windy. This morning started cold but not nearly as windy and the temps are set to rise again beginning tomorrow. Weather is obviously important to me…
With the Auburn game running so late into the evening, I was exhausted and dehydrated, almost to the point of feeling sick. I made the decision to put my sleeping bag into the Wesley Foundation chapel and sleep there. I did not have a mattress but it was quiet and I was still close to the shack. I knew with the Auburn win that this little town would not sleep-even the chapel did not drown out all the festive noises. A steady barrage of people walked by and some stopped to “inspect the shack”. Good decision. I did rest and felt mostly refreshed by the morning. Escape theory????
So many thoughts. Urban camping, sanctuary, expansion theory… Urban camping because some would equate what I am doing to camping. To some extent that is true. The “shack” is my tent. My meals are simple and I don’t have to prepare them. I have a place to clean up and use the restroom. Instead of wild animals and the snapping of twigs going “bump in the night”, it is students, cars, and loud music. I even have a fire-urban camping. Sanctuary-I had to retreat and experience Sabbath. The lack of rest was having a detrimental effect on my ability to be fully engaged and in ministry. The chapel provided a time of sanctuary and a moment to rest in God’s presence and sense refreshing. And finally expansion theory. The goal of $20,000 is very lofty and to achieve such a goal we must develop a way for more people to participate. Maybe a creative way for people to get sponsors for us. Something to think about.
What other things did I learn yesterday? A wonderful sense of awe and provision. A friend dropped by four Auburn v. Ole Miss football tickets to sell as a fundraiser. Other friends who are wonderful supporters purchased those tickets. I was blessed by alumni friends who came by as well just to catch up and chat. They had made some purchases at the Buildmore Store earlier that day.
But I also missed out. I could not participate in the Wesley alumni flag football game-maybe a good thing knowing my level of intensity in playing and injury susceptibility. And, I could not watch the Auburn football game because I did not have the right cable package and had to listen on the radio. In a nutshell-my choices were limited. Maybe this seems frivolous-but I missed out on community both times.
Currently, the church crowd is coming through and the emotions are mixed. They do not know what to do with me. Some are intrigued. Those that know me are very friendly, very giving and generous. Most are looking away begging not to be addressed and trying to ignore what is before them. That says a lot about us. Does God’s work sit right before us and we chose to ignore it and look the other way? I know I’ve been guilty of looking away or not giving when someone asked…it can be difficult.
Here is the point. When we have a connection and relationship we will give. And the more we develop the relationship or the interest, the more we will give. Consequently, when we do not have a relationship or connection or have “donor fatigue” we will easily yet guiltily turn away. Nothing really spectacular or earth shattering there.
So, just a few thoughts from the shack today. If you would like to comment or raise a point, please feel free. Our tally started at $3090 this morning. A lot more to go! You can help us!