Grace in the Wilderness

Dearly Beloved,

What a beautiful week it has been. I am bowled over by the abundance of beauty, joy and the gifts of community in my life. I am grateful for moments of healing and growth in myself and in our community. 

And yes, that is in the context of things continuing to be difficult in our world. The realities of injustice, a continuing pandemic, and environmental crisis are real. Not to mention the personal losses and struggles that mark our daily lives. The world has enough grief and fear for all of us. Yet as people of faith, we hold onto God's promise of restoration. We hold onto the hope and knowledge that we can make a difference -- through our individual actions and our collective ones.

This week, I had the privilege of speaking to a woman in her eighties, Sharon, has hosted the Little Free Pantry that has grown to be not-so-little in her front yard on Garfield and 13th for the last few years. Does this take work? Yes -- Sharon talked about the need to go and tidy up the area on a daily basis to make sure that it looks and feels welcoming to all. She also shared that this has been one of the most meaningful things she has ever done. She talked about the hope that hosting this Free Pantry has infused into her life. And she's been up close and personal to the need in our community. She's gotten to know clients who rely on the food provided free of charge or question in this community-supported way. And Sharon has gotten to know countless community volunteers who have adopted the Little Free Pantry as one of the ways they care for their neighbors and their community. 

On Sunday, we will hear from Jeremiah 31. The prophet promises restoration and joy to a people suffering and in exile. And beyond that, the prophet reminds them that they have found "grace in the wilderness." I daresay, it sounds like Sharon has found incredible "grace in the wilderness" of our community's need. And she has been a part of bringing dignity, compassion and hope to strengthen our community. 

What about you? What grace have you found and might you share in this season? 

With love and hope,