A Sheltered Life
"mom, there's Stacy" Evangeline said to me as we passed the intersection of Winborne and Victoria in north Baton Rouge on our way to church last Sunday morning. Stacy is a prostitute we have reached out to on occasion. We have invited her to come get some free clothes, breakfast and coffee at the BRDC cafe. Gave her a card with the hot-line information on it, Asked her if she wanted to go to church with us, and one time tried to get her some help for a bruised face she had just gotten from a john.
Knowing the first names of a few prostitutes is part my 13 year old daughters life. She works with the homeless, befriends gang bangers, teen prostitutes, girls who have no parents and had their sister sold to the guy down the street. She helps with small kids who have lost parents to gun violence, kids without enough to eat, no electricity at home, no running water.
When Megan first moved in with us, after a few weeks she said,"Gosh aunt Carole! We have to do something with church everyday" I didn't quite understand what she meant cuz' we only attend church on Sundays. BUT then she started naming everything; I have BRDC band practice on Monday nights, Tuesday afternoon we go to Hip Hop dance class at BRDC, Wednesday they go to Epic Student Ministries, Thursday morning is Homeless breakfast, and on Friday's we sometime help at the BRDC cafe, and do Saturday outreach when we can, not to mention sports, which is at our Highland Campus, and Midnight Outreach that Dean and I go on. So after thinking about all that, I realized she was right. It is almost everyday that we are doing something "with" church.
And then I felt so grateful for the life I get to live and the life my kids get to live. Being the church, with the church, wow, We are living the dream and I never take that for granted. Our family is called to do what we do. God placed us at Healing Place Church because we are all supposed to be here, at the Dream Center, reaching out to prostitutes, homeless people, drug dealers, pimps, and all people that society deem undesirable.
Sometime people express concern that my kids are being too exposed to the darker side of life. But it's usually people who allow their kids to watch garbage on TV, waste their life online or enable them to become lost in the popularity game at their high school. I would say THAT is the darker side of life. I would rather shelter my kids from the things that steal our souls and numb us to the needs of others then to keep them from the God given gift we have of serving the ones society pretends aren't real.
I dream that one day Evangeline will be running her dream of a free lunch counter that only employs homeless people, where she daily greets the outcast of society. And I am glad Megan is here, not being sheltered, her mom is very glad of it too, who knows what this time is doing in her heart.
Thank you Jesus that my family doesn't lead a sheltered life. YOU are our shelter. We take rest, comfort and protection there.