On Sunday, November 11th, I was privileged to be among a group from our church that joined Church Under the Bridge in Oklahoma City, to minister to the homeless at their usual spot under the bridge at Oklahoma City Boulevard and South Virginia Avenue. Our time working together for the homeless was both joyful and sobering, and I want to share a bit about it.
Sometimes we can want to see something so badly that we read into someone more than what is actually there, so I try not to let my imagination run away with me in these situations, but it seemed that a beam of light had broken through the dark cloud hanging over Jacob. As we said goodbye, he had a gleam of joy in his eye, and as he walked away with a New Testament in his hand, he seemed to have a spring in his step in spite of his limp. I pray he truly has and goes in the joy of the Lord. Please join me in praying for Jacob “to make certain about [God’s] calling and choosing” of him in salvation (2 Peter 1:10) and for him to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).
It’s a bit of a cliché, but a necessary call: “Get out of your comfort zone.” Attachment to our comfort zones will always stifle our usefulness and fruitfulness. To be used by God, we must detach from our comfort zones, especially if we are going to have church under a bridge to minister to those that sleep under a bridge. Some of the sights, sounds, and smells are not pleasant, but we must ask if God and they are worth it. God and they certainly are. And I know that as we did them good for God’s glory in His Gospel, He has blessed the work of our hands, and He is pleased with the worship in our hearts.
Church Under the Bridge is such an eye opening experience, I never knew existed until we hosted it in 2015. I did wonder how many bridges I’d driven over in the past where homeless people are staying. We donated 70 sleeping bags and about 40 were handed out that day. The next evening we had freezing temperatures so God's hand was obvious in the timing. A great pastor once told me, 'God is rarely early but he’s never late.'
Let us aspire to understand the times and know what we
(1 Chronicles 12:32)