It won’t be long until this crazy election cycle is behind us. But what lies in front of us? That is the question. Lots of people are shouting at us, telling us that the world is going to hell in a hand basket. What do I know? Maybe it is. I don’t really believe so, and here’s why.
There are a lot of amazing, wonderful things happening in the world I live in. I’ve got some thoughts on that that I’ll be sharing for the next few days, but first a story.
Last month I went on a road trip to meet with a group of inner city churches to talk about the possibility of starting a recovery ministry in their city. This in and of itself was no amazing fete, I regularly talk to folks around the country about this topic. But here are some reasons why this particular trip filled my heart with joy:
- The meeting was attended by a GROUP of churches – different denominations, different ethnicities, different socio-economic statuses…different in every way you could imagine, but they were all together, drinking coffee and munching on cinnamon buns, joined by a common vision: how can we help the suffering in our community? (If you’re not a regular church attender, let me just say to you that sometimes it is difficult in a community to get a group of churches who regularly “compete” for members to show up as a solid unified front.)
- No one in the room had much personal experience with recovery, although I’m sure all of them loved someone who needed recovery or was in recovery (because it’s an epidemic and that’s just the way it is right now). They came and asked questions and took notes and were curious. (In case you do not regularly speak to groups of strangers on a topic you are passionate about, sometimes I show up places where people are not particularly curious and like to spend time telling me why I am crazy to care about a problem that they don’t think can be solved.)
- There were many needs in the room that could have distracted these intrepid souls from this particular vision, but they were more focused on the needs that they had identified in their community at large. (In case you have never worked with a church that has a leaky roof and nose-diving attendance, sometimes as they feel more and more desperate to stay relevant, they draw into themselves and forget to be very missional.)
These wonderful, caring people give me hope for the future. Look around today and notice who gives YOU hope. Maybe send them a note. Or pray for them. Or bake them cookies! It is people like these who will change the world, one small next right step at a time.
Carry each other’s burdens and so you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 CEB