If you hang around our church for more than 15 minutes you will hear someone use words like asset-based, opportunity rich, and divine economy of abundance. Even when those exact words aren’t used, a Spirit of optimism runs through the place. While we are a very “glass is half full” organization, that is not some pollyannaish attitude.
Everyday not only brings with it opportunity, but the reality of brokenness.
This week a 14 year old boy was shot and killed in Columbus.
A person in our community had her car stolen, but because she couldn’t afford insurance, she lost her license for 90 days.
I answered the phone and an administrative office called to verify the benefits of a homeless man who has no phone but ours and I had no way to reach him in that moment–he will have to begin the process again and his benefits hang in danger of being cut.
I prayed with a man who was in tears because of the estrangement with his son.
I listened to the story about a grandson, who only has one kidney, and needs a transplant.
I pushed a broken car down an alley.
I saw fear on the face of a friend awaiting medical tests.
It has been that kind of week.
Pain, struggle, and injustice are very real.
It is easy to see God on the good days, when the hungry are fed, the homeless find shelter, people find meaningful work, and a community forms. It is gut-wrenching to sit with people you care about who are suffering.
Almost every day in this work, I experience the greatest joys and greatest sorrows.
And yet, it is in those sorrows that I find Christ most present. So many times we ask, if God is good, why is there suffering? But the story of our faith is that God is found among the suffering of the lost, the excluded, the disenfranchised, the sick, the mourning, and the cross.
Perhaps, if we want to see where God is today, we need to place ourselves among the people of the beatitudes: the poor in spirit, the meek, and the mourning. It is when we stand in that uncomfortable space between how it is and how it should be that we will understand what it means to be blessed.