Wow! What a serendipity? Jesus? Coming for dinner???
(I started writing this post yesterday, the morning after, but I am only finishing it now. So bear with me if the dates are off just a bit)
Mrs. Agent X and I very purposefully invited Jesus to come to our wedding (almost 5 years ago), and he came. (I offered a post on this called Proph-O-Drama Wedding.) Then we invited him into our home, and he came. And over the next 3 and a half years, I prayed that we servants at the house would be prepared for the Master’s return (like the parable Jesus offers), and last September he moved us to a new house where we started taking in foster kids.
Then last night, in addition to Baby Agent N, who has been living with us over a month now, Frank Morrison (from The Coronado Project) and Jenni Castillo (from Restoring Hope) both accepted invitation to join us for dinner. These two ministers have been offering God’s love to the poor and homeless of Lubbock with unparalleled commitment and sacrifice for several years. They are leaders in the field who have risked everything they have (and always continue to do so), they have attracted media attention to the cause, and have actually housed multiple people from the streets as well as feeding, helping, and loving them. They have done what the church of Lubbock has failed to do.
But Frank and Jenni have never met each other before last night.
And so as we ate dinner, the stories of adventures and sacrifice came flowing out. It was stunning to hear all the incredible things Jesus does in this town with these two lowly servants… to hear of all the imaginative expressions of love, faith, loss, and learning.
And one of the more meaningful moments for me was when Frank shared how he talks about these things with people he meets, sometimes to church groups and gatherings, and how socially awkward it becomes as these folks begin to twist off from the conversation and/or find ways to suddenly change the subject. But at our little dinner party, we were all eager to hear more, share more, bear more of our souls. Jenni brought videos we watched, and I was amazed at all the faces of people I regularly pray for finding love and help from her ministry!
I am so pleased, also, to say that Mrs. Agent X’s (and mine too) 18-year old son, Agent Z, who is heading off to live in the dorms at LCU this weekend, led us in a worship/devo AND offered to devote his class project to raising funds and awareness for The Coronado Project and Restoring Hope. Thus he facilitated worship (the dwelling place of God – Psalm 22:3) and helped forge new partnerships in ministry. And all this happened in the house God gave us to live in – the HOME where I lay my head in rest!
I pray all the time. My life in prayer has grown in new dimensions and depths the last 6 or 7 years, and that has accelerated even more in the last 2 years. I began writing numerous posts on my experience(s) with prayer recently, and I had in mind creating several more, but my plans are interrupted by “life” it seems. And though this post is not part of that series, I think it is deeply related because the part of my prayer that has grown the most in recent months is the part where I ask God to come to this house.
My ministry on the streets turned more specifically toward homelessness back in 2009. That was two years after (2007) my first wife announced she was agnostic and left me, my mom died, and I lost my job all inside of a four month stretch. Those events did not leave me homeless in the strictest sense of the word, but I definitely was cut loose from nearly any meaningful sense of home I had before that.
Ever since, I have prayerfully explored the power and meaning of Psalm 23:6, 27:4, & 122:1-2 and have sought to make my home with God as I minister to fellow homeless sojourners and call them to enter the House of God with me. And when I get there and find the doors locked, I knock that Revelation-3:20 knock, and ask the church to be the servants prepared for the Master’s return.