Thursday, May 21, 2009
Recently, a local pastor who ministers in Southeast DC called me in distress on a
Tuesday night as I was hosting a group. Pastor Bob told me of a couple that he has known for a while and who were suddenly being evicted from their house that night. The immediacy of the situation was on Bob’s lips as he explained how he was trying to pack up their stuff and place it in storage before the landlord’s deadline. He asked me if there were any groups I could send him the next morning to help unload the moving van, and I knew I couldn’t refuse him no matter how hard it would be to rearrange the schedule for the next day.
These are the moments – when my heart breaks for the people who have lost their home – that I also remember the hope that I cling to. The hope that allows
students from all over North America to come to Washington, DC and think that they can make a difference in the lives of the people in this area. The hope that propels Pastor Bob to create a safe haven for the evicted couple in the temporary housing he gives them until another situation can be found. The hope that is inherent in all of the ministries we work with who try to find that home again for the people who have lost it, through meals, through social services, through dignified service, through friendships. This is the hope that knows that the Lord gives and the Lord takes away, but blessed is His name. This is the hope that knows:
How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, faints for the
courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh
sing for joy to the living God.
Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young, at
your altars, O Lord of hosts, my
King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in
your house, ever singing your praise!
Psalm 84: 1-4
In this time of foreclosures and economic uncertainty, I hope that we remember where our home is. And as we encounter the homeless around us, I pray that we will strive to be able to bring them home to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ...
-Kristen Erbelding, CSM Washington DC Associate City Director