Monday, December 17, 2012

King St.

I joined many from my church family last night at Los Pasados.  Although I was not able to participate in the singing or the readings, not because I am not fluent in Spanish, but because I forgot my glasses and couldn't read the screens....UGH!  It was another wonderful way to celebrate the birth of Christ!  I love learning others' customs and traditions.  The candle lighting in Los Pasados is the best part to me.  We all sing "Silent Night" in Spanish then English as each person's candle is lit, and then we follow each other out of the sanctuary carrying our candles out.....taking the light out into the world.  That is what we need to be doing every day, and I don't necessarily mean literally....or maybe I do.  What I mean is our world can be a very dark place, and it seems darker and darker as of late; but I have the belief that there is still so much good.  Why do I believe that?  I've seen it, experienced it, been part of it, and seen so many lights shining.  My Sunday School class delivered gifts to many of our neighbors this past weekend.  We had a huge turn out of volunteers to help including many children and teens.  We were able to give every single child in this small community a gift, and it was a wonderful sight to see.  Because NPayne and I had done most of the organizing and planning, we were getting lots of credit towards it being a success....I was hearing lots of "Thank You Lorie" and "You did good".  I didn't want to come across rude, but honestly I wasn't sure how to respond.  I wanted people to know that  I did nothing that I wasn't asked to do....

In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” Acts 20:35

At first, I was responding with things like...."it wasn't just me, or you all made it all possible, or thank you too", but I finally started answering with...."It was Him, it wasn't me".  Later that night, I received a text from one of our good friends who also helped tremendously with the gift delivery, and it said...."Just want u to know.  U did an awesome job Lorie Payne!  What a blessing".  I know exactly what he was trying to convey, but I also wanted him to know that it wasn't me; so I replied with...."It wasn't me.  It was Him".  Shortly I received another text from him that read, "Why does He do it better through some than others?"  I didn't even hesitate when I replied with, "He doesn't!  He gives us the tools and shows us the way....we have to be alert, listen and follow His lead".  It was weird, because there was no hesitation when I replied....almost like I had no control over my fingers as I text it....sort of like it was Him typing it.  The next text said...."I have a hard time listening. Usually think I can do it on my own".  To which I replied,  "We all do!"  And don't we?  We all have a hard time listening....sometimes because we don't make time and sometimes because we don't want to hear; but I think many of us face that struggle.

I told NPayne about the text conversation, and we talked about how although we had made connections and adopted this community as our friends, offered assistance, fellowshipped with them, and grown to love took us a while to do it.  We both felt the nudge, a few years ago, to help the people who live on King St.  We both felt it differently but the same, and we both discussed it; and then we put it on the back burner.  We listened, but we didn't follow His lead until much later.  This year, I have tried diligently to follow my Father's lead and be encouraged by my husband's heart for service and decided to move forward with King St.  We finally reached out, and we have been so graciously embraced that I think we have been more blessed than those we have helped on King St.  We call them our neighbors, our friends, our family....and they are our family....they are God's family!

Above is a video that Addi shot during the gift the end you will see many gathering around a table to eat.  The King St. residents surprised us with a feast they had made for us....including home made tamales!!  We closed our time together with a prayer circle, lots of hugs, and see you soons!  And we will be back....very soon!

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