Monday, July 20, 2009

Flour

I’ve learned that loosing control is actually a better form of being productive. At least in my world it has been, especially last week. I’m learning how truly upside down and backwards this kingdom is lately because I find my teachers being children and my classroom a public park. I reflected on all this when I finally got back home and peeled the shirt off my back in the midst of a cloud of smoke. The smoke was actually dust, it was flour being patted off my back and out of my clothes, the shirt was stuck to my back because of wet flour that had dried up. Sounds pretty gross and random, but these small elements reflected the kingdom of God more than any theological discourse or bible class I have ever been in. The unlikeliest of places seems to be the hot bed of God revealing Himself and His truths.

We volunteer at the local women’s and children’s homeless and domestic violence shelter downtown. It all started with little parties and such and has grown into 3 programs, Ladies Night, Monday Fun-day!, and Monday Fun-day! Little Ones. We now find ourselves fully emerged in the community and culture at the shelter. So much that one of the children’s parent stopped my in the hallway Monday afternoon to say, “I don’t know what yawl are doing but these kids love Mondays and talk about it and look forward to it all week.” My heart just jumped for joy upon hearing this! God is using people to bring hope and life into a place that can often times be full of darkness.

Last week we took the kids out to a big open park downtown and had four 5 game stations set up, or so we planned. As usual though, plans never work out quite the way they do in theory as they do in reality. The stations were passing the orange, kids would pass the orange around their group using just their necks, moon ball, see how long you can keep a large inflated ball in the air without touching the ground, bubble gum challenge, you bury a gum ball deep in a bowl full of flour and the kids have to get it out with no hands and chew up the gum and whoever can blow a bubble the fastest wins, which is impossible because the flour absorbs the gum, and water balloon toss, teams of two through a water balloon to each other at different distances trying not to pop the balloon. The highlight of the night ,however, was not in the plans at all. The kids thought it would be funny to get me by throwing flour all over me, so I am running around covered in flower, so I start throwing it back. The entire park is now full of kids and adults chasing ach other with handfuls of flour. Then the water balloons start getting thrown at each other so now we have wet flour drying on us as we walk back to the shelter. One of the kids said, “Now that’s what I call a fun Monday!” They had so much fun and that was probably the most memorable Monday Fun-day! they have had since the beginning.

Now where is the kingdom in all this? Do you see it? I think it is pretty obvious. Children that are in hopeless circumstances have hope, children that should be mourning are rejoicing, and children typically confined to a concrete building downtown are now running and enjoying a beautiful day outside. It is amazing to be a part of it all, really, I feel guilty sometimes because I am not sure who gets more out of the group, the children or me and the other volunteers. As exhausted as I am every Monday night I always lay down with a subtle smile that comes from deep within my heart and soul as I watch the kingdom of heaven takes it place in the midst of unplanned, unexpected places and people.

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