Last week I read a powerful reflection by our Godson Christopher Graske that has been in my prayers and thoughts over the last week and I thought I would share it with you. Christopher felt a strong call from God at an early age to spread the news of Jesus’ Love, especially to the poor and marginalized. This calling has led him to ministry with the Christain organization YWAM based in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. The Tenderloin over the years has been known as the area where the homeless and drug addicts live in San Francisco. The ministry of YWAM in this area is to bring the gospel message into the streets to try and reach the marginalized.
As you can imagine, the COIVD-19 outbreak has brought a halt to this ministry as the San Francisco bay area has been in a shelter at home order for a couple of weeks. Christopher has taken this time to write daily reflections that have struck me with there depth of faith and experience of Jesus’ Love. Here is Christopher’s daily reflection from a walk through the Tenderloin last week. As you read his powerful message, prayerfully ask yourself “what can I do in these times to make sure the marginalized of society are not forgotten?”
Peace, blessings, and prayers,
Reflection #9 - What If It Were Me?
I took a walk this morning, as I do semi often. With Jesus walking next to me, we slowed down, cuz that's when I tend to feel him closer.
As we strolled up Taylor street on our way to the park on top of Nob Hill, I noticed someone sleeping on the sidewalk across the street from me. This is a reality for too many people, and that reality extends onward every day. This experience is felt all too consistently in the Tenderloin of San Francisco. As we walked and noticed this, I felt that Jesus had stopped walking. This was His child, his beloved. I began to think of the daily experiences that take place in the Tenderloin, simply from my own personal encounters.
What would it be like to have your shoes stolen while you sleep? Then to walk down the street that people have used the bathroom on during the night, just to arrive at a place of service that is closed or doesn't have any shoes?
I began to put myself in that place mentally. I felt hopeless. I felt discouraged. I didn’t know where I would be able to get shoes, and shoes my size. I can't recall the amount of times I've searched closets here at YWAM in the hunt for a pair of shoes that fit someone. That's only shoes.
This 10-second scenario, spurred by Jesus stopping and setting his gaze on his beloved, encouraged me to go the extra mile for people. The feelings I felt made me also reflect on how that need being filled could feel. Are we willing to go the extra mile, or simply be "inconvenienced", to help those in need? Are there ways I can come alongside those who are experiencing pain, neglect or other difficult realities?
There are questions and needs.
Be an answer and a solution.
Christopher’s tennis shoes have the word Gospel on them to remind him daily to be Gospel.