Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Going to Work Empty

Hi, PDX!

Wow, it has been six weeks since I fired up this site--if anyone is out there who still remembers. Summer finally arrived in mid-June, and it's been home and property fix-up time ever since. I'm at last replacing the wood fence that came with two sides of our property 30 years ago when we bought the place. Fence needed pressure washing and painting then. I now have most of a chain link fence in place, minus some finishing details. Always more to do.

Going to work empty... That's what I found myself thinking when Jean and I drove to Operation Nightwatch to set up for Sunday evening worship on 7/27. Most of the time when I drive there I find myself feeling really empty--especially if I have preached and led worship in the morning. Makes for a long day.

But it's more than that. Worship and ministry with people who live on the street, people with mental illnesses, people who make do in their own unique way is always somewhat unpredictable. What will the evening bring? Will someone act out, get belligerent? What about the drug addicts who might be up or on their way down?

I couldn't preach and share prayer time with these folks if they didn't help me. And I especially could get nothing done there if Christ weren't already working there, already present there. "Carry us tonight!" That's what I usually pray as I drive in on the Banfield Freeway. "Help us to care for your people" is another prayer I constantly repeat because I am empty, going to work empty.

The only strength that will carry me must come from outside. And at 8:00 PM when we close the doors I realize that it has happened yet again. Come to think of it, the more empty I feel going to "work" in this ministry, the more of Christ's strength I must rely on. Christ is already at work there, never leaves. It's only Jean and I who show up at 5 PM. Christ has already been there, spent the night and the day on the street.

I wish more of my life went that way. It would if I would let it... How about you?


Pastor Roger