Loving Out of Our Overflow
the excess or surplus not able to be accommodated by an available space.
What IF, we loved others with our excess? Did you see the last post about God’s LOVE? His immeasurable, gracious love is abundantly given to us and so we can then give love to others in OUR abundance. It takes time, guts, and a willingness to look outside of our own circumstances. To see people in God’s LOVE, through his LOVE.
Our very own Lauren Pickthorn is sharing about how this looks in her life:
One of the best choices I made this last year was to start following the Facebook group, Humans of New York. In a single photo and caption, I see the great wonder of humanity unfolded; tragic and hopeful. Note: If you do not follow Humans of New York, go do it now. Stop reading and go find it and follow them now. You will never see such a beautiful picture of God’s children represented ever again (exaggerated emphasis added). It is easy to read about these strangers and feel their feelings, whether angry, joyous, or defeated. It is easy to look at a person on the roadside or hear about an oppressed people group on the news and feel the tug of our heartstrings. Our world is full of injustices and brokenness, and as compassionate beings, our heart is led to break.
Obviously there are broken people in poor countries. Obviously there are broken people in big cities. Obviously there are broken people in lands of war and distress. Brokenness is in the communities that you see on the news or in those 4-minute super-sad viral videos your buddy shared on Facebook this morning. But I live in Wilsonville. Wilsonville is full of people that have mortgages and double ovens and family vacations and IRAs.
Except that isn’t true.
Wilsonville has over 11% of our citizens that live below the poverty line. The poverty line in 2015 means that a family of four makes less than $1,963 per month. If you take that number and subtract the very smallest cost of rent in Wilsonville for a 2 bedroom apartment ($725), that means a family of four is living on just over $40 per day to cover every bill, every meal, every stitch of clothing, every class trip, every tank of gas, and every bottle of aspirin. So if your child has 30 kids in their class, three of them live in poverty. This often translates to school lunches being the ONLY meals that child eats, or adults losing their only source of income when something as small as a car repair keeps them from leaving the house.
This is the land God has assigned to me. This is My Mission Field.
In 2006, Grace Chapel had a meeting with the leaders of Wilsonville and asked what we could do as a church to make an impact in our community. In that meeting, someone said that Wilsonville needed a Heart of the City; somewhere people can go to get help and support. This last year, Heart of the City, an outreach center for Wilsonville was finally born. We now have a place that those who are broken can seek help. Their stories are heard, their concerns are addressed, and there is a way to give a helping hand.