Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Underestimating God

Usually God stops the rain when we hit the Santa Monica boulevard pavement. Not this week. It poured down almost the entire time we were there. But rain or shine – we’re there!

So, with a plan B and C for where we could do bible study, we headed out to quickly gather anyone on the street we could find, then hurry over to Magee’s Donuts to ask Jack if we could hold The Refuge in his shop. When we got across the street, several of us headed to the security station to say hi to some of our friends there. They weren’t able to join us…but as Kayla talked with them, Jorge, Charlie and I got to visit with “Ravi’s” friend “Oz”, who none of us had met before. He was fairly quiet, but we heard about how he has a music label and is just working to do more with that, because he’s passionate about any kind of music. He had joined Jorge and Ravi for bible study that night, but doesn’t typically attend church. Both of them also joined us for Refuge later on.

As the rain slowed a bit, we headed down the street and ran into some other people from our team as well as some people they’d begun talking to. A young man walked up shortly after, recognizing one of the guys our team was talking to. They’d been roommates in a mental hospital together for a couple of weeks, apparently.

Maybe it was the influence of alcohol, or maybe it was just the right time and place, but this young man quickly opened up about how he’s making bad choices, being stupid (his words, not mine), addicted to drugs and alcohol, and wants to do more with his life. He acknowledged that he’s lost and wants more, wants help, and that God clearly brought him there at that moment for a reason. It was incredibly easy to talk about God, the bible, the peace and freedom that He brings, and relationship with him. But I think the alcohol also affected his ability to really listen and let it sink it, because though he agreed and was excited, didn’t seem to be completely responding. But he anxiously joined us for bible study (though he left a few minutes in…apparently the addiction won out this time).

By the time we actually got to Magee’s, my boots and light jacket were pretty much soaked, and I (along with many others) was freezing. But who would’ve expected that walking in we’d see about 10 people already sitting there. So, after a quick bible study out of the rain, we sat in groups and discussed what we’d heard for quite a while (I was with Han, Bryan, and Jonas, a guy we’ve known for a while but only see from time to time).

I know that at this point it shouldn’t surprise me that God can work under any circumstances…yet it truly does surprise me that even when it rains, we always find people to talk to. In fact, as I think back, I don’t think we’ve had one rainy night that didn’t produce a really great conversation…and those are always the days I expect nothing to really happen, thinking no one will be out in the rain and cold. Maybe it’s time I stop underestimating God.

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