Come out of the wind
"All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day." 2 Corinthians 4:15-16
Almost 20 years ago, when I was younger, I graduated from college and was exploring what was the next step in life. It was this time of year, and I was struck by images of fall. So, I wrote a poem that over the years was lost in moves and different changes that come in life.
The poem, which I cannot remember how it went, had images in it like swirling leaves in the wind and the warm safe feeling of a hearth and fireplace with a fire in it, with coziness all around. This poem had a metaphorical meaning in which the leaves swirling around were the problems and challenges of life, keeping us spinning with difficult situations and problems out of control. The hearth and fireplace were the safety and comfort protected from the wind. That protection was God as I found solace in giving the swirling wind of leaves over for God to work out.
Here in this scripture, Paul is writing to the church in Corinth, trying to instruct and encourage them that God's action is, as he lifted His Son from the cross, He also will lift them, those that follow Him (verse 14). The grace God gives here as it stretches out is producing more thankful hearts.
During this season of Thanksgiving, amidst all the problems before us, we are saddened by the fires in California, the gun violence in four states on Monday, in our own community with friends, family members, or neighbors who are homeless or struggling. These become the leaves that swirl around and around in the wind, catching us off balance and overwhelming us.
The truth is, there is a hearth and a fireplace where we can come in out of the cold. A place where we can feel safe and know that God is there to lift us up.
I am the executive director of Redemption House Ministries, and when you read this later this week, it will be after our Thanksgiving dinner we put on Thanksgiving Day for the homeless and those in the community who need a place to go for Thanksgiving. So, from us, we hope you and your family had a time of thankfulness and sharing with one another.
I also want to take this opportunity to ask for your partnership in helping those who are struggling in our community. Besides the Thanksgiving meal we give to our community, we also operate two shelters and a hot meal service here in Prineville.
We operate Redemption House (our women and children shelter), Regeneration House (our men's shelter), and then Craig's Compassionate Café (serving lunch to our community Monday through Wednesday and Friday and meals every day to the shelters).
As the season grows colder and more people need help, would you consider a monthly gift of $10 to $50 to our organization so we can provide warm beds, hot food, showers and safety to our neighbors among us?
Our address is 445 NW Third St., Prineville, OR 97754.
And, thank you!