By Jason Chang
God has been doing some pretty crazy-awesome stuff. It’s been really cool this past week to see God bringing up a whole bunch of things that I would not normally do at all.
Last Thursday, my family group was hanging out at Clay Pot’s Coffee House. The coffee house is an open community time where people stop by to talk and have coffee. So despite not liking coffee or talking to new people, there I was, at the coffee house talking with strangers. I ended up talking with Mr. K, an older man who only had two of his top teeth left. I pretty much asked if I could sit with him, and he started pouring out his life story. He talked about how being mugged multiple times caused him to lose most of his teeth, how he had attempted suicide while his wife was dying of breast cancer. Essentially, there wasn’t all that much to be thanking God for. So after talking to him, I was really struck by how I could genuinely say that God loves someone after stuff like that. It didn’t seem like there was much good going on for Mr. K.
And that has sort of been the theme of the stuff I’ve been seeing. There is so much brokenness and stuff that God obviously doesn’t want. We’ve had the chance to talk with homeless people, hang out with kids from tough backgrounds, and share meals with former addicts. And I’ve just been like, God where are you?
So then one day, some of us were sent to the corner store to pick up some ingredients for dinner. As we walked by this one house, these two men talked to us, asking us to sing happy birthday to one of them. We kind of just walked past them went to the store and bought beans. But after we walked back, we decided to learn how to sing happy birthday on the ukulele and we went back to sing to them. We ended up talking with them for an hour… Now for me, I came in thinking, hey, we’re going to bless these two guys, and it’ll be fun singing to them. The guy I was talking to most of the time, E, was really funny. We were talking about judging people based on looks. He pointed to his arm and asked me what color his arm was. So I was like, “Uhh, black?” To which he responded, “No, my skin is brown.” I kind of figured he was going to say that, so I asked him what color my skin was. He paused for a moment, and was like, “You’re Jet-Li color!” That might seem like a really random story, but I was really encouraged by this guy. I came in thinking that I might be encouraging to this guy. But hearing E’s story about how he’s been feeding those in need despite not seeing too many results, and how he still manages to stay positive and keep going encouraged me.
While it’s really easy to get bogged down by the injustices going on in the city and just seeing all these things that break God’s heart, it’s also important to be positive and encourage one another about the awesome ways God is showing himself. God has been giving us loads of opportunities that are beyond what we’d normally think. I probably wouldn’t have seen myself walking around talking to strangers (and drinking coffee), but God is good! So definitely be praying that God would continue to be working in Baltimore, because if the city prospers, so will we.