Before you read this posting, a few personal thoughts.
I have a job — a REAL job — for the first time in years. I pay rent. I have made arrangements with all my creditors, because two years of unemployment will wreck your credit, and am paying my bills. There’s not much left after, and we have no money to get the rest of our stuff in storage in Chicago. And insurance co-pays are beginning to pile up, what with Jennifer needed a couple of tests to set the level of her thyroid med and me needing liver and kidney screening for this fungicide I’m taking to obliterate the scum that has been living in my toenails since sometime in late 1986.
But we have a home. We pay rent. We are managing. Jennifer and I know how to.
We have each other for Christmas. No tree, no presents, just a simple meal currently bubbling away in the crock pot. The work I do, well, it’s writing, and I have to remember I was willing to do worse for less. All the same, I’d rather be a pastor — it is my calling — rather be anxiously dealing with multiple worship services this weekend than wondering how the heating bill is going to be paid in January.
But I am grateful. Jennifer is grateful. We are managing. We have God.
And we have a pestle of kids. I love this ministry that has found me, these wounded kids who need me for a day or a week or a season or, as a couple have decided, forever. I am grateful for the gifts of God — an editor willing to take a chance on me, a landlord willing to overlook terrible credit, ministry supporters who help keep us going.
There are days when it feels like poverty and desperation will be forever. And maybe they will be. America today has little mercy for failures, and I am a pretty stunning failure, falling all the way from grad school at Georgetown to a basement hovel in the middle of the desert.
But I am loved. And I love. Thank you Jennifer. Thank you Karen. Thank you Scott. Thank you all who read this blog. Because love is what matters.
Love is all that matters.
To all who might be reading this — kids, adults, whoever — Merry Christmas.
Have hope. As a child, tiny and helpless, God come into the world, to be one of us, to share our lives, and all that means. It is a wonderful thing, this coming, the fulfillment of promises that we shall be saved. That the poor will be lifted up, the weak protected, the hungry will be fed, the rich brought down, and those who have enough will be sent away.
I know, my eyes tell me a different story. One of sorrow and hunger and fear.
But today, we hope.
I started this ministry as an inspired act, a holy accident, a gift of the Holy Spirit as she blew through the world. I have not shared your lives — I have not been in foster care, not been that kind of abandoned, not been raped…
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