WORDS FROM WW April 2, 2009
“Serving Strange People”

We just got back a few days ago from San Francisco where we spent a week vacationing. I’m trying to take more seriously the idea that vacation means “vacating”, as in the premises. From the view of things there were a lot of people who were vacating last week to San Francisco instead of from San Francisco.
We experienced a variety of people and, quite honestly, a lot of strange people. One man pretended to be a bush. He sat beside a lamp post with a bush in front of him. As someone passed by he would suddenly shake the bush and scare them. People were giving him money!
There were an abundance of street performers singing…dancing…performing magic…doing skateboarding stunts…playing the violin…drawing portraits. And there were a few people there leftover from the hippie movement- or shall we say never moved on from the hippie movement.
This past week we had several people from our five neighborhood churches meet together to talk and strategize about a project we’re doing together at the end of April in our neighborhood called “Community Hands”. We’ll go to homes in our neighborhoods and do simple work projects for our neighbors, tasks like clearing brush and leaves from yards, washing windows, etc.
There are very few people in our neighborhoods who attend one of the five churches. It’s not meant to be a “Build Our Attendance” effort. Instead it is just a small effort at serving our neighbors. It’s meant to be a visible expression that we have been called to be the hands and feet of Jesus. With two of the three grade schools closest to our churches closing at the end of this school year, there’s a lot of uncertainty and anxiety in our area. The people of God have an incredible opportunity to serve our community in non-threatening caring ways.
About a week ago a man was shot in the face by his girlfriend five houses away from one of the neighborhood churches. The house was discovered to be a place where drugs were prevalent. As our pastors talked about it, one of us mentioned that it’s kind of a wake-up call. There’s a shooting right down the street from us and its drug-related…we can’t ignore the presence of the Deceiver. There’s an evident mission afoot that seeks to move people and communities away from God. Perhaps another way of saying it is that there is a mission to cancel the presence of peace and promises of hope.
And so we’re going to go and serve some strange people and say with our actions and efforts “Jesus does make a difference. He does give hope.” We probably won’t encounter people disguised as bushes, but we may encounter some folks who have started trying to hide behind the bushes in front of their homes. Hide not to scare, however, but hiding because they are scared.

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2 Comments on “”

  1. Reen Says:

    Bill….. I had not read the past couple Words so I got caught up today. Wow! Lots to think about in each article, but I really like the Community Hands. What a difference this group is going to make…

  2. janet Says:

    Hi Bill
    Glad to hear you went away on vacation and to such a beautiful setting and great food. As always your blog was thought provoking.
    I spread the reading of The Little Church That Could over several weeks in our study of the Prayer of Jabez. It fit perfectly.
    Things are going well here.
    I look forward to hearing more about what your church is doing to make a difference in your neighborhood.
    Much love,

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