Mark 10:13-16 (The Message)
I was reminded of this verse a few days ago while serving on the streets of mid-town Manhattan. On Wednesdays I am assigned to lead the outreach at Chelsea Park, at the intersection of 28th Street and 9th Ave. Without a doubt this is a tough site. The primary makeup of the site is homeless men. It is a transient community that lives for one thing: survival. I often say that if someone isn't mentally unstable before they become homeless give it a year and they will be. The drug of choice for most of these men is "hopelessness" (but often times medicated with alcohol). Without hope comes little desire for change. These are men (and some women) who have been dealt some very bad hands for years and have become hardened to the core because of it. My main function at this site is not to get people into shelters or rehabs, but to give these men and women something to smile about and something to hope for. It's not a place one would normally expect to see a childlike faith, but sometimes I find myself humbled in the oddest of places. As a Christian I think way too much. I dwell on things I shouldn't and often ignore the simple things right in front of me. This past Wednesday I was reminded of a faith that I aspire to possess.
I became friends with a woman named Ruth almost immediately after I started serving at Chelsea Park. She is an elderly woman who has very little. Every week she comes to me for her prayer. And every week I pray that she would realize her value in God's eyes. About a month ago I prayed that God would give her something to smile about. The very next day she came across a hamster that she had found. Immediately she took it home and adopted it as her own. God had answered our prayer. She came to me the next week wearing a big smile and excitedly told me about God's gift to her.
Now if you are anything like myself something this small is often easily dismissed, as well as theologically and logistically explained. But the Kingdom is not made up of people who dismiss the simple things in life. Nor can it be theologically articulated by the great minds of this world. The Kingdom, this childlike faith, travels outside of anything this world can offer.
As I was praying with Ruth this past Wednesday I prayed also for her hamster. A miracle easily missed by all, except those who possess that childlike faith... Like Ruth...
|Ruth and I praying.|