I find it ironic that while the violent rage of riots were going on in Baltimore Monday evening, our Night Ministry was in one of the roughest neighborhoods of Chicago feeding the hungry. Although we have been in this neighborhood quite a few times, Monday evening was different. We knew before going down into the city of Chicago of the unfortunate events that were taking place in Baltimore, yet there was no hesitation within us for our safety. And what stood out most for us on this particular evening was a greater heartfelt gratitude among those we were feeding. Many of them have begun to recognize us by face or by name as our team comes regularly every two weeks on a Monday night, rotating with other churches or groups. One gentleman asked if our team could come out twice a week, of course that brought one of my team members to tears.
On this particular night their emotions of gratitude were much higher than times past. Perhaps within all of the hatred going on in Baltimore, they were able to experience first hand the act of love.
Their appreciation for us coming into their neighborhood and giving them a homemade meal brought us to a higher level of wanting to be a church that serves outside of the four walls of the church. After all, isn't this what the church is called to do?
When you view all of the photos of the devastation and craziness in Baltimore that have gone viral, there are some images that stand out for the good of mankind. The image of the mother pulling a Madea and beating her son over the head with her purse for taking part in the rioting. And the images of Pastors and some of their flock huddled on various street corners praying.
There is a scripture verse that says love covers a multitude of sins, but love covers so much more.
Love conquers hatred, anger, and hurt,too.
With America filled with so much hatred and violence, it may seem like a daunting task for churches. But maybe if each of us individually took on that task of acting in love, it may reciprocate into something greater, something wonderful.
"Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier."
- Mother Teresa