“When hundreds of you come flooding out of the church after services every weekend, your heads are high, your shoulders are back and your enthusiasm is obvious. Take that same joy and energy and put it into the community.”
These were the words spoken by a member of the local city council in the community where our church is located. The small group my wife Jamaica and I are a part of attended last night’s city council meeting to present a preliminary proposal for portable shower stations that could be strategically placed around the city as a courtesy to the local homeless population; a city with one of the highest concentration of homeless in Los Angeles county.
For a few months now, Jamaica and I have been gathering with a small group of people on Wednesday nights as we hang out in the neighborhood around our church and get to know the locals–primarily the locals without homes. Our usual hangout spot is McDonald’s because that’s where many of them congregate for a cheap meal.
After getting to know these precious people, we have learned that cleanliness is one of their biggest needs because it is the primary barrier between them and landing a job or even respect.
The initial feedback from the council about our portable shower station idea was positive, with many council members giving us helpful input for the more formal presentation later this summer.
In the meantime, I am marinating on the words of that city council member from last night. The affirming nods from the other council members as he extolled our post-service enthusiasm was encouraging and convicting. I recall the words of Jesus from John 13:34-35. It’s our love for one another–not our joy with one another–that will point to the hope we have within.