We have this place where we feel at ease. In this place, we know what to expect. Any risks we take are carefully calculated. Things are to our liking. We have people around us that we like that are like us. This is a place of control. We feel confident about our role and belonging. This is our comfort zone. This is not a place where faith thrives. Faith is an accessory in that place.
Connecting Streams is engaging people to go to the place where faith thrives. For me, that place is at the Edmonton Institution for Women. It takes faith to believe that we will find God at work behind those walls, that He is not asking us to go anywhere where He is not. It takes faith to believe that the Holy Spirit will guide conversations and give us ears and hearts to listen and words to speak. It is faith that gets us through awkward first times or awkward pauses. I haven’t done extensive research, but a quick study has not revealed anyone actually dying from an awkward pause.
As followers of Jesus, we are made to GO. A careful study of the original language of the Bible reveals that the word “go” actually means…GO. Obedience to that command is the meat and potatoes of discipleship. Dessert is the sweet part. The dessert for me has been meeting wonderful fellow volunteers; passionate, compassionate women that have a good influence on me. Dessert has been meeting some beautiful souls, hungry for hope. The dessert has been meeting some opposition that worked me out, to pray and fight beyond the easy way I default to. Dessert has been making friends, and growing in an understanding of the human condition. It has been shared pain and shared laughs.
I hadn’t been going to the prison long before I loved the women we met with. In the chapel we were not offenders and volunteers – we were people walking out what it means to follow Jesus where we are. One evening we were talking about the Holy Spirit. How do you describe Him – wonderful and beautiful and powerful? As difficult as it is to know how to put Him into words, we were trying. As the ladies started to leave, I felt God had one more thing to say. “Just so you know,” I began, “when you leave here, we wish we could go with you. We know you go to a hard place and we wish we could be there when you are lonely, or be there to encourage you, or be there when you have a hard decision to make. But even if we could, we wouldn’t be enough. But the Holy Spirit is.” It felt like a “God moment”. There were tears and hugs, and then one of the women that lives there said, “And just so you know, when you leave here, we wish we could go with you.”
Thank you, Connecting Streams, for the opportunity to go to the place where faith thrives.