Monday, July 16, 2007

Falling In Love

Well its happened. I've begun falling in love with South Tryon Community Church.

I'm excited, but at the same time nervous as I dunno what -- because South Tryon is so unlike anything I've ever done, and is so different from anything I've ever felt called to. Its also nerve racking, because South Tryon (surrounded by an indescribable amount of need and pain and seeming hopelessness) is where outcasts -- society's invisible people -- come to worship; and I'm not sure I'm ready to be outcast with them, to worship with them. You see, South Tryon Community Church is smack dab in the middle of three impoverished housing communities that have been all but abandoned by a host of surrounding people and policies. South Tryon is a real, down-to-earth, come-as-you-are, Christ-centered church. And as I continue to work here, I find myself if I'm really willing to be so honest, so humble, so needy, so real -- as to worship with the people of STCC.

This week in particular has been CRAZY, because STCC's annual youth revival starts in appx. 48 hours. Oh, and did I mention that I've planned the revival from the ground up? 'Cause I did. If ever there were a time of honest humility -- its now. I'm anxious, nervous, excited, happy, and hopeful. I can't wait to see how God works through the several Holy Hip Hop artists we've invited to the revival, through the ex-cons we've invited (they'll share their testimonies), and through the musicians and choirs we've invited (they'll be sharing through song). I'm also curious to see what words God speaks through me, as I'll be speaking each night too. I'll keep you posted!

Lastly, falling in love with South Tryon becomes irresistibly easier each day, as
God creates bonds and relationships between me and the people of the community. For example, after spending all day at the church in my office working, I stepped outside just to catch a glimpse of the light of day. I was then greeted by playing children and yells of, "Ms. Chris!!!" I realized, then, that they were excited to see me -- and I was overwhelmingly, almost to the point of tears, excited to see them. This joy -- joy that comes from experiencing God through others -- is such a gift. I also experienced this gift the night we took 45 community youth to the skating rink. As I did all the "chaperone stuff" like tying skate laces, I found myself having more fun than most of the kids. Just honing relationships was enough for me. It felt so good -- so peaceful -- to feel God's presence through the laughs, smiles, and freedom of the ones God has called me to serve.

1 comment:

Emily Sanford, MSW/MDiv, '08 said...

I'm so glad to hear that you are having a great experience at South Tryon and pray that the youth revival has been going well. I know that God has spoken through you in the messages, and I hope that all the other details have fallen into place as well. When you get a chance, I would love to hear an update on how everything is turning out!