Friday, April 29, 2016

The Divine Relay

Everybody falls. Everybody hurts. It occurred to me this a.m. in a moment of revelation what Basement Blessings is really about. After all the mission statements I have written, all the "Who", What", and "Desired Outcome" charts I have filled out, I always end up with my head in my hands thinking about the dreams and visions that God whispers to me in my spirit. The scripture He gave me as a promise Joshua 1:16. I made a promise to do what God told me to do and go where He told me to go. He didn't just say serve the homeless, families in poverty or victims of human trafficking. He said to do what He tells me to do and to date that has covered way more than I ever thought possible. Things that I have no idea how to "do", people I have no idea how to help. Everyone tells me that you can't boil the ocean. Yet He has more times than I can count.  Boiled the ocean and parted more than one of our Red Seas. So it may appear that we are trying to drink from a firehose. We may get knocked back sometimes but it is never boring. The blessings keep coming. The needs keep showing up. Those needs keep being met above and beyond anything that we could have asked or imagined. Sound familiar? God likes to wow His kids. We are very well aware that this has absolutely nothing to do with us and everything to do with Him and them (His kids).

This week, however, has been a very special week, the clarified vision that I have been praying for has been given to me but not as all like I asked (as usual). This week, we have been able to bless some amazing ministries and organizations who are on the front lines of helping the homeless, autistic children, single moms, children in poverty, victims of human trafficking and we having meeting next week along with our partner and spiritual gangster sister Esther Flores to connect to several other organization and ministries in our area that are working hard to change their little sliver of the world. We are being called to connection. The 4 words we use at Basement Blessings to describe what we do ( and these are in order) are GIVE. We meet the urgent needs so that we are able to get the people to a place where we can address the "needs behind the needs". Physical needs are only a small part of the equation. If homelessness is the problem, then what is the underlying cause of their homelessness. Is it mental illness, alcoholism, addiction, circumstances, a combination? Meeting their physical needs is simply our currency or exchange to get into their life and provide help on a different level.

The second thing we do is CONNECT. We connect with them personally and through serving with compassion try to earn their trust and build relationship. We try to encourage them and keep in touch so they know they are genuinely valued and cared for, it is amazing how many people have never felt the power of being connected.  The next connection we make is to other organizations. If they need food assistance or housing, we try to put them in touch with the resources that can help them meet those immediate needs. Again, our goal is not to enable or further create a system of dependency. It is to meet their urgent needs for the moment so they are able to connect with the resources they need to help them secure a job, get a resume, alcohol/drug treatment, education, etc.

The third thing we do is MENTOR. We ourselves have a volunteer group of over 400 members who not only give of their physical resources in the form of donations. They give of the most priceless gift they have....the gift of who they are. This gift is priceless because it is comprised of your gifts, talents, experience and education. This is truly the gift that keeps on giving. This gift can change lives and the legacy of the generations to come. This gift doesn't just give a man or woman a fish, it teaches them, their children and even their children's children to fish as well. It is the gift of freedom, hope and a better life.

The last word that I think is built into everything we do is LOVE. They should know us by our love. It doesn't matter if we are loving them with clothing, housewares, diapers, a baby shower for a single mom, toys for a special needs school, whatever the currency needs to be, the outcome is love. We want them to feel loved. It is the only language spoken by all. It is the healing, calming balm that heals the human body, mind and spirit. Love is the answer no matter the question.

So basically, Basement Blessings, 1Divineline 2Health, CenterPoint church and all the other amazing people we work with, along with all the other ministries and charities that run along side us believe that we are here to run a race. We all fall at one time or another during this race, it is so common. What is uncommon is knowing that you have someone right beside you at all times who will grab your hand and help you up and then hand you off to the next person who can run with you and guide you until you are ready to run your race all on your own. We will all be there still running together just in case anyone trips. In my opinion, it is time we all got out of our single file denomination, ministry and charity lines and start looking for ways to hold hands and work together.  I know my place. We are at the beginning of the need chain. Hope dealers, as my friend Joey Moats of Hope Over Heroin calls himself. Ultimately, we are all hope dealers. Joey is one of the most shining examples that I have ever seen of our testimony being BY FAR the most powerful thing about us. He knows his lane.  I know my lane and how far I can go. Gratefully, I have a team of sprinters who run other parts of the race that I can hand people off to know that they are in capable and loving hands. Even when I don't know all of these people, I "know people that know people". You know what I'm sayin'? (In my most Goodfellas Southern drawl) I know people that know people who have the same heart and the same mind, people with the same Daddy. We all know our job is to love on His kids.  I know I can take them only so far on their healing journey. Together my friends, if we pool our gifts, talents, time and some resources we can rock this world of ours. An army of love warriors running hand in hand occasionally dropping hands to grab the hand of one of our fallen brothers or sisters. No one deserves to run this race alone. Stay blessed! H