July 28, 2011.
“You never really leave a place you call home, you simply leave a little bit of yourself there when you go” Charles R. Snyder.
It wasn’t, but it seems like so long ago I was yelling at Ricardo on my way back from Christ’s Body because I’d ended up on the wrong train, twice. I could navigate the light rail or bus system, knew nothing about public transit and had been dropped into this ministry and expected to swim.
This morning, nearly two months later I stood at the Light Rail Station waiting for the train. My heart was a little heavy as the realization had finally sunk in that today would be my final day working at Christ’s Body Ministries. I got on the train as I have every morning, rode to the 16th street mall then walked to the bus stop I’ve sat at countless mornings. Like every morning this summer I got on the Zero and rode down to 8th and Broadway. I went to 7/11, got my coffee and doughnut, thanked the ladies for their smiles all summer and headed up to work.
I don’t do well with goodbye’s, I’ve heard they get easier as life goes on but when you experience things on a really deep level it seems to make them tougher. State Choir goodbye’s were always hard, gathered in a large room with barely any room to walk around, everyone’s crying and so are you. Today’s goodbye’s were more different.
In Ministry when you dive in to the place you are ministering in, if you are emotionally invested in a place then your story has intertwined with the people in that place and to a certain extent with the place itself. You have made friends and spoken life into people who don’t normally have friends or have life spoken into them. You become accustomed to seeing their smiling faces as you serve them breakfast or give them a chance at a shower. For them you were a moment of illumination or maybe God used you to cause a stirring.
It’s true that you never really leave a place you call home or spend a lot of time. God uses you to leave footprints on the floor and put tattoo’s on the hearts of the men and woman you touch. Your name and face will be remembered and your kindness will be cherished beyond all things.
I’m going to miss 850 Lincoln and the people who come in for food, conversation and an escape from the weather. They have left an imprint and tattoo on my heart that will last the rest of my life, our stories have intertwined and I will also cherish the memories of these beloved friends. Ron may have told me that I can’t leave, but the truth is I won’t ever leave Christ’s Body, my thoughts and prayers will forever be with the men and women that were just part of shaping me and my summer.
So today as I walked away from Christ’s Body to head home my heart was at peace. I knew some where deep down that I had done what God had invited me here to do. I know that someday I will return to that little place but for now I must continue to grow and learn how to lead and be led by others.
So now as you go out and minister to the world, let the joy of Christ fill you, may the passion of his heart invigorate you, may you Illuminate the lives of others and let their stories impact you and help you see the heart of God. May you continue to be the light of Jesus wherever he calls you, whether it’s Christ’s Body Ministries, your High School or your neighborhood and above all else, in all that you do for the Glory of God, may you find peace