On Tuesday I visited the Times Center in Champaign, a center for the homeless to eat and sleep. There’s a small group from New Horizon that meets there that my friend Roger told me about so I decided to check it out. One thing that the Holy Spirit has been leading me to do is to start hang out more with the marginalized, those that are often overlooked or not taken seriously. This is a first step in that. I don’t know yet what God really wants me to do so I’m going to just start hanging out and getting to know people there. (The guy in the pic is Ricco or Richard. He was in the group and I found is pic on the internet. He’s now famous, of course… 🙂
The small group there was really cool. Having gone to Mexico and seeing the poverty there, but also seeing their amazing faith in Jesus and their joy, I really didn’t know what to expect. Some of the guys there really genuinely love Jesus (not that I thought they wouldn’t or anything, it was just powerful and awesome)…they really want to follow him and what plan he wants for their life. They want to be lead out of this difficult time in their life. I was also amazed to see how much they knew of his word, many of them way better than me…although, I still have a long way to go. 😉
One guy told some of his story saying he was doing something that he felt so trapped in, and in the midst of that he found himself alone one time, and he was praying silently to God, rescue me from this, rescue me from this. Then he went out of there and was immediately arrested. He looks back and sees how God did rescue him that day, just not the way he had thought. He spent the time following finding out who God was and is in his life. I think that is so awesome and it revolutionizes my thinking of how God works and who he works in. I think it can be easy in our culture to look at someone who is in jail or who has lived a certain lifestyle and think, that person is very far from God or has no desire to know him or is evil and unredeemable…quite to the contrary. God uses everyone and anyone and no one is unredeemable to him. I guess when you look at the Bible, that’s one of our marks…we are broken people, and yet, God still redeems and uses us. I guess to me it’s one thing to read it and another to experience it in my midst. Also, I may look at this differently too, maybe with an extra measure of compassion since my dad was in prison for a time.
I know that my time in this small group will continue to open my eyes and continue to give me his heart for his people. God’s trying to show me something, a new direction, a transformed heart, not sure… (you can see my previous post, irresistible revolution, to see how that book has impacted me so far. It all ties into this.) All I can say is God use me, change me, mold me to be your hands and feet, to do your works and speak your words.
If anyone wants to join me, feel free. 🙂