Our Overflow Shelter opened last Tuesday with 4 guests (now we’re up to 8). That night, one of our guests came in soaking wet from walking in the rain and asked if we had any other shoes she could wear–as hers were full of water. One of our volunteers from St. Tim’s didn’t skip a beat; she asked what size she wore to find out they were the same size as the dry shoes she had on her feet. The volunteer took off her shoes and handed them to the guest, and the volunteer went home in her socks.
This is what radical hospitality looks like. I could make a bigger deal out of this simple gesture of generosity, but folks, things like this happen every night at our shelter. Our volunteers share with our guests, our guests share with our volunteers; it’s a give and take, take and give — and we all come away from it a little better because of sheltering. Come and be a part of the story; we’re here each night until March 31!
A voice cries out:
In the desert prepare the way of the LORD!
Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!
Every valley shall be filled in,
every mountain and hill shall be made low;
the rugged land shall be made a plain,
the rough country, a broad valley.
Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together;
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
In the second Sunday of Advent, our readings proclaim the coming of the Lord; there will be a new heaven and a new earth, and the prophet says that the physical earth will move to prepare the way of the Lord with every valley being filled and every mountain made low. The earth will transform itself to make way for its Creator.
We, inhabitants of the earth, must also transform ourselves to prepare the way for our Creator. We are to prepare the way for new heavens and the new earth. We have a world desperate for the coming of our Lord Jesus – where the news features shootings almost weekly, where terror reigns, where refugees flee war-torn lands, where people go hungry, where darkness threatens to prevail. We cannot transform the world in such a way where all of these horrors are made right; only Christ can do that. But we can prepare the way.
Each night from December 1 to March 31 we will follow Christ and prepare the way of the Lord – we will open our doors and our hearts to those without a home. We will break bread with strangers, we will offer a safe refuge, we will create community, and we will, even if only a little bit, begin to transform our world. We will certainly transform ourselves.
Won’t you join us? Visit https://citywithdwellings.org/shelters/st-timothys then click on “Sign Up to Volunteer Now at Volunteer Spot” – you will be able to select your position and the date you wish to volunteer. GO sign-up now before your holiday calendars are full and make holy hospitality an integral part of your Advent experience. We especially need Overnight Volunteers to sign up.
You can bring your Christmas cards to address, do your online Christmas shopping, or just enjoy a peaceful, quiet night all the while providing a safe place for our guests to rest their weary souls.
Taken from St. Timothy Episcopal Church’s weekly email.