I don't know what was the most exciting part of serving at WellBeing. Possibly it was discussing theology and the works of C.S. Lewis with a cross dressing man or playing a hilarious game of Apples to Apples. Maybe it was the delicious meal, which I was drooling over the whole time I served, and finally getting to sit down and eat it with a friend of mine from under the Burnside Bridge. But buried within all of this, God was stretching and growing me.
That cathedral in north Portland has seen its better days of awe inspiring worldly majesty. In the basement of that century old decrypt cathedral I was a part of something. I remember looking at the back of the church, mismatched bricks through decades of repairs, and seeing the path lined with brightly colored tulips bursting forth (hang in there, I know I'm dropping some hardcore touchy feely jargon); but this was only a glimpse of what was happening inside. Deep in the basement the physical building was not doing too much better with broken everything; from sink nobs to garbage disposals. But within the framework of the physical old and broken building there was life bursting forth.
This same new life was bursting out of each of us there. Within my worldly-sin-ridden-self-loving body, new life was bursting forth! By laying everything down in the pursuit of being a lover of God I experienced a new life with it's well-spring in Jesus. Now, the inappropriate disgusting humor of a man, who all his life was treated like trash far worse then the trash spewing from his mouth, rolled off my shoulders. The unabashed flirting and objectifying actions towards me and my body, was not only a massive wake up call to how we as men treat woman, but was something I was able to return with love and compassion as opposed to my old self sparking repulsion or bitterness.
Awkward and uncomfortable? At times - for sure! But only because I have sheltered myself for so long within the walls of the Church and don't know how to engage this broken suffering world yearning for something more. But even more then uncomfortable, the experience was eye opening and fun. I am learning more and more, there is no better experience then to lay down your life to be used by God. The joy and the peace that flow out of being used by God is nothing short of glorious.