Christmas Missio Lux was designed to three strategic outreaches on Saturday, December 21st but the weather had other plans. Seattle has had more snow in the past week than in the past 30 years, practically combined. It is almost a foot deep at our house.
Saturday was a bit of break in the weather, but only until evening! So, Bill and I made the trek along with several others into the city to feed breakfast to a grateful crowd of cold and hungry people. It wasn't our usual scheduled day for the breakfast, so the guests were more grateful than usual.
My time there didn't start out so great. I went to sit by a woman that was eating alone. She immediately jumped up and started yelling me, calling me some rather colorful names! The next man I tried to speak to started backing up when he saw me. But, I persevered and ended up having some very meaningful experiences as I sought to serve the guests as if they were Jesus himself.
The most moving experience to me was pouring coffe for a table full of men. These men were unusual because they were actually friends, and were sitting together in community. Many homeless people sit alone; preferring their space to the friendship of others. I was so joyful as I poured their coffee, refilled the pot and poured again.
It felt like I was serving the king himself!
I was able to connect with Angela: she asked if she could come again and serve. She had just lost her job at the newspaper and knew that to sit around her empty apartment was destructive for her. She got right up and started clearing the tables. We were able to pray for her unemployment as well as a friend she was worried about because she hadn't seen her since the cold spell.
I was able to reconnect with Tom. He is a rather put together young man who has a father that is a pastor, so he knows about faith but is struggling to believe in God's love for him. I told him that we would pray for him over the Christmas days as they are about the hardest days of the year for those who are estranged from their family.
I ended up with Sarah, who looked very classy. She was also extremely bright as I conversed with her. She seemed an unlikely candidate for homelessness, but when I asked her about it, once again she was estranged from her family so the safety net that is present for many, was missing for her. She is considering starting a Bible Study at the YWCA and wants to become an administrative assistant.
We had to cancel our other outreaches Saturday. The storm moved in, but I will always cherish the memories I took away from my time at the breakfast. I was much more filled than they as I served the King....
"Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty and helped you?"
The King will reply: "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."