And just like that, I'm a day behind again. haha
I let myself sleep in yesterday, since I had no significant reason to get up. Around 9am, I woke up and began my day. I started reading John and got a decent way through it. I've been reading the gospels in the Message, and it's been really refreshing. I was thinking about when I'd get to John 3:16, since it's the most quoted Bible verse of all time. I mean, it's an important message for sure, but it just feels cliche. I was nervous that I'd get to it and not be stirred. When I actually got into John, I was into chapter three without even realizing it. Then this verse hits me in the face, and I realize it's John 3:17. "God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again."
Jesus came to help! He came to put the world right with God! He didn't come to point fingers at people or accuse people of messing up! And he never did that, either! He just loved, and forgave people! I mean, how amazing is Jesus that he didn't hold grudges against people, no matter how many times he got wronged or hurt! That's the guy I want to be like!
After I read a few more chapters, I began cleaning my room again. This is going to be something of a multi-week project, because I'm also unpacking everything from school and selling stuff and generally really easily distracted. I had already done a little bit in the past week, but I wanted to make some serious progress. I wound up taking a box of books to Half Price Books and getting $10, and I also took some shirts to Plato's Closet and had them totally rejected (which I found out much later, actually). I stopped by the library to pick up some books I reserved, and wound up staying there for two hours. I realized I can sort my contacts in Google rather easily and have it all sync up with my phone, so I did that. There were a bunch of duplicate contacts to be merged, and I also deleted some folks I didn't know or may have only dealt with once through craigslist. When I finished that, I grabbed the four books I reserved and went home. I did a little more work in my room while listening to some jammin' vinyl: Yes, The Police, Maynard Ferguson, Styx, Rick Wakeman, etc.
At 5:30pm I left to check out Fruit of the Vine. It's Vineyard's homeless ministry downtown. I was very nervous since I knew nobody down there and was really pushing my timeliness, too. (It's actually a summer goal to become quite punctual, so this was very frustrating.) I still managed to arrive on time, but didn't have a clue who to talk to. Fairly soon, though, I struck up a conversation with a fellow named Matt Clements. He was there for his first time as well, but at the beginning of a summer-long involvement through a ministry called Reach. He had spent the last 9 months or so in Israel doing some work, and he'll be living in Columbus with about six other folks in this ministry. Turns out Brittany Mitchell, a gal I know from choir in high school, was there as well. Her and her friend Bethany have been doing this ministry on Wednesday nights for years now.
I started to meet a few more people, and we eventually circled up to go over the "rules" for being around the homeless folks (no money, no last names, etc), say names (to each other was okay) and pray together. One of the head guys, Brian, shared this analogy about us and God.
With God, every day is like bring your kid to work day. God doesn't need us to feed people, clothe them, love them, talk to them, but he wants to use us! We are his children, and he delights in spending time with us! The most rewarding thing for God is to see his work be completed and know he got to finish his work with his children helping! Sometimes we make a huge mess of things and stretch out the job hours, days, years longer than it would have taken God by himself. But he loves us anyway, and wouldn't trade us for anything! I am God's child, and he wants me to help him at work! God wants me to help him show people just how much he cares about them! Isn't that the coolest thing ever?
What we did last night was really awesome. We'd pull up to these "camps", basically just some homeless people waiting expectantly. We'd all get out of the van, hand out bags with hot chili, fritos, cookies, coke and water, and just talk to people for awhile! When we could, we'd give them socks or belts or other clothes we brought from the ministry. After a little time, we'd circle up, pray, and leave to another camp. It was super cool seeing Brittany and Bethany, who have done this for awhile, converse with familiar faces. They really know some of those people well, and the fact that they care shows on the faces of those people. We made about six stops altogether, and headed back to the F.O.T.V. building on 5th Street. I'm positive I'll have some terrific stories to come. My sister wants to start coming, too, so that'll be terrific to have her along as well. I had a brief scare leaving last night, because I couldn't find my wallet (it had in fact been missing since before our very first stop). I finally, after ten worrisome minutes, remembered I left it in a compartment of my car (which I didn't check the several times I searched through my car). I'm forgetful...
I came to the batcave afterwards to hang with the guys. Mike Radigan and I picked up three pizzas from Little Ceasars (and all I had to do was drive, which is good, since I'm broke). We got back, and sat around eating pizza with Steve and Eric while watching How I Met Your Mother for the next couple hours. It's easily one of the funniest shows I've ever seen, and I think I have a slight crush on Alyson Hannigan... But she's married, so it would never work out.
I crashed around 2am, and woke up around 9am again. After watching just over an entire disc and consuming some more pizza, I decided to write this blog on Eric's laptop. I'll consider updating tonight with my adventures from today. After all, I still aim to keep this thing regular.
Before you go about with the rest of your day, could you please say a prayer? It's for friend-of-a-friend Jamie, whose boyfriend Dan died two nights ago. Please pray for Dan's family and all of his friends.
How I Met Your Mother
(I just can't get enough.)