Starting something new requires leaning in deep, partially waiting for the world to cave in on you while simultaneously, fully hoping that leaning in is exactly what you are meant to do. It is in the leaning in, in the trusting that we can learn to let go of ourselves and live authentically, progressively into our purpose.
WearLove was a whisper placed on my heart, it sounded a lot like an invitation to participate in creating community.
The idea seemed simple enough. I wanted women at the local shelter, where I have volunteered for several years, to be seen and feel loved. I wanted them to know that they matter.
Initially that looked like this, a pajama drive. Fantastic and such fun. Friends, Churches, BookClubs and Families responded. .
I became more attentive to needs and in tried to pay attention to the whisper.
Out of the simple wish, – to love and empower women- grew more ideas to create community.
Other projects were created. Some were small, like the time when a box of art supplies was donated to the Living Room, a local day program for disenfranchised women and their children, or the time boxes of books and bibles were given to women and children. Or the time a local church donated every item for a Thanksgiving feast at the local shelter.
This year, bigger projects were conceptualized and brought to completion. Two breakfasts for marginalized and disenfranchised women were organized by a team of volunteers wanting to make a difference in the life of women.
We felt that creating a safe space for community, loving and showing grace was the purpose of our time together. We were so delighted to see that lives were changed, not to the least ours. You can read about it here http://village.blogs.pressdemocrat.com/11080/the-common-table-a-story-of-giving/
Truthfully, I expected the whispers to stop, I prepared myself for the Spirit to stop. You see I continually write my life on the margins instead of finding my story written into the text.
“And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.” (Colossians 3:14 Msg.)
This verse in Colossians reminds me that to wear love breaks a persons fall, it is to embrace a person in the place where they find themselves written on the margins of life. Love is about breaking our fall. We find our story written into the text, we are part of something much more expansive than the narrow margins.
The verse reminds me that the Kingdom of God is here in out midst, that everyone is invited, chosen to wear the garment of love.
The women at the shelter have taught me the importance of this garment, they have shown me that restoration is preceded by unconditional love, that grace is an expression of perfect love.
They taught me that without grace we all live our life on the margin.
My life was written on the margins. I live because of grace. I live because even on the margins the hand of grace never lifted, instead grace lifted me.
WearLove is unfolding, it is truly a grass roots ministry. My sincere hope and humble prayer is that as we WearLove, we learn how we can best engage with the expansive goodness of God, inviting everyone to take part.