Lent Day 7Tonight was one of the nights where I felt completely out of my depth. On Tuesday nights Su and I go down to something called 'meeting place', which is a drop-in evening meal at one of the churches in town. We give out free soup, sing a few old hymns, pray and have a meal together, but mostly we just chat to people. I say chat, but it's mostly about listening. Often the evening passes without event, and a pleasant time is had by all, but now and again things tend to get a bit chaotic. A few too many people get in with a few too many drinks inside them and things feel like they could kick off at any minute. They rarely do, but it can be a bit fraying on the nerves. Thankfully, we have a good team and we often sense God's presence helping us along. Every now and then I get a real glimpse of the brokenness of some of the lives there. Just tonight a talked to an alcoholic who was sexually abused as a child and is now suicidal, a homeless guy who was in tears 'cos he doesn't know where to turn to next, several others who have lost loved ones recently. The sense of pain was tangeable. I have a part of me that wants to 'fix' things, to sort people out, so I often get frustrated at not being able to do more, say the right thing, pray the right prayer. I so badly want to minister the love of God to these people, but it often feel like we are just applying a band-aid.
Jesus, equip me to be a real minister of your good news, to love in actions and not just words, to see people with your eyes, to have faith to pray, and wisdom to know how to deal with messed up people in a way which will make them depend on you.