Day 15: We Stand

IMG_2304Believe it or not, Day 15 (Monday) was bittersweet. While I was excited to sleep in my own bed, take a shower whenever I wanted to, eat a real dinner in a real chair with a real fork, and drink something cold in a real glass in the company of my real wife, there was a part of me that was sad. In Scripture, we see in several places that Jesus went away to be alone with God, but, for most of us, the times that we do the very thing that gave Christ peace, joy, and understanding are few and far between. In some ways, the two weeks I was on the streets felt like time alone with God even thought it was difficult. And my life is forever changed by the time I spent in God’s presence in my camp, on those street corners, and while writing these blogs.

Photo: Tony Carter

Photo courtesy of Tony Carter

Monday’s focus was not so much about my reentry into “business as usual” (I actually hope that never happens), but about you, the community of Clarksville, stepping out of your comfort zones and joining me in this adventure that I believe God has put before us. Many jumped in feet first by coming to the rally and then taking to the streets with yellow shirts and signs with “Do You Care?” and “Prove It” written on them. All in all, we had about forty people standing on seven or eight street corners. We were definitely the talk of the town; people who hadn’t given me much notice when I was alone were asking questions, especially, “How do we prove it?”—and that’s what we wanted people to ask so we could give them information and explain how much we need a shelter.

Any time you do something like this, there are going to be people who don’t agree with you and don’t mind telling you so. And there are some who just don’t “get it.” Most of the stories coming in about Monday are very positive, but we had one of the opposition actually flick a lit cigarette at a young lady standing at the corner of Wilma Rudolph and Dunbar Cave, and it landed on her foot and burned it. I guess it’s a good thing that the young lady’s mom was on the other side of the street because she probably would have chased down the car.

Manna Café’ Board member Sarah Miller and her groovy name tag.

Manna Café’ Board member Sarah Miller and her groovy name tag.

Some of you had to work but still wore name tags that said “Prove It” on them. That’s so cool—and I’d love to hear your stories and see your pictures. To everyone who wore a nametag, stood on a corner, gave monetarily, honked your car horn, waved, or prayed—you guys rock! One of the most rewarding parts of being a leader and leading a charge is seeing others catch the vision and charge with you. So it was amazing—and such an honor—to watch so many of you join me.

imagesIf you’re still straddling the fence as to whether you should get involved with the Prove It Movement or with Manna Café in general, I read something a few weeks ago that might help: As Christians, we’re supposed to love Jesus with all our heart, mind, and soul. All through the Bible we see faith being referred to as a heart issue. In fact, we often refer to becoming a Christian as inviting Jesus to come live in our heart. But so many times in today’s culture, we’re taught to not trust our heart; we’re taught that we must think things through, we must get the answers first. But is that faith? If we want the heart and mind of Christ, my question to you is, What is your heart telling you to do? If you’re living by faith, the hows and whats will be answered as you jump into the fray.

For some of you, that might look different than it does for others. Some might feel led to start giving finances; others might be called to pray; others might be led to help with construction at the Refuge; and some might want to volunteer. There’s a lot of work to be done, so wherever you choose to serve, God has a spot for you.

Peace out.

 

As a side note, I’m going to keep telling my stories and keeping everyone informed through these blogs, so please subscribe to proveitclarksville.com. And please keep sharing them as a way to get others involved.

 

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