Wednesday, February 1, 2017
What A Night
For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.
Old cinder block building....probably 20 x 20.
A hole in the wall where a window should be, said window having departed long ago for places and parts unknown.
The seating was a hodge-podge of chairs and such...
Along one wall was a church pew that had seen better days. The middle support had moved on so that when you sat on it, the pew sagged.
Assorted office chairs were scattered here and there.
Folding chairs and straight back chairs were added into this mix.
In the center of the room were two coffee tables that did not match...not that such mattered, but you catch my drift.
What was this place? It was where the church gathered last night for a time of prayer and Bible study.
Food was brought in, as most of those who were attending the meeting had just gotten off from work, so there were more than enough ample appetites to partake of this feast. Chicken fingers, potato salad, baked beans, rolls and apple cobbler provided the substance to fill up empty stomachs. Throw in 2 or 3 glasses of "Sweet" tea and any appetite would be bedded down for the evening. But this was more than just feeding the body....we were there to feed our souls.
We met at Shane Elmore's transitional houses over in East Gadsden. I had taught there last year, and have been trying to get back over there. God is doing something in me, concerning these men and where they live. Not clear what it is at this point, but I trust Him to sort it all out and show me my part.
One of the resident's, Chuck, actually lead the meeting last night. We took a journey down Acts chapter nine (Paul's conversion experience on the road to Damascus). Chuck is a "newbie" in Christ, as he was saved two months ago. If you listen to his story, you'll understand what a dramatic salvation it was. Chuck has been a resident at Elmo's for some time, and he admitted that when the Bible study took place, he would stand on the porch and curse it because he didn't want anything to do with God, Jesus, or Bible study. Well, God had different plans. God met Chuck one night while Chuck was lying on the couch. Like Paul, Chuck shared that something radical happened to him when God saved him. He said that everything looked different from that day forward. This was more than what some might refer to as "Jail-house" religion. This was full-blown-rip-apart-put-you-back-together salvation.
As we sat and listened to Chuck take us through the chapter, he tied himself to Paul's experience. It was a wonderful thing to hear and watch the expressions on Chuck's face as he shared. The Spirit confirmed what Chuck was saying, and his life is being defined and changed daily as he chases this Jesus who has brought him new life.
I looked around the room at the faces of those present.....
I looked at the room itself....
No church or cathedral anywhere could match the feeling and presence of God that filled our hearts and the very room we were in.
Here in this old shed that kind of symbolized the life of someone in addiction, the good news was shared and received by everyone there.
What is the good news?
Jesus has provided a way out of the mess and destruction caused by our own sin.
There in that shed was the invitation to leave the old life behind.
I can't think of a better place to be that with those who are truly desiring THE better way. More, Lord....More of you in that shed. More of you on that property. More of you in the hearts of those who are temporarily living there.
God on you....
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin...