“People come and they bring food, but we don’t care about the food. We just want somebody to sit and talk to us. You guys cared about more than your own charity work.”
We rolled into the women’s campus of the Nashville Rescue Mission fully ready to see The Lord use our little “yes.”
“On behalf of all men, I just want to apologize. If you’ve ever been abused, or mistreated, or ever felt demeaned by any man, I’m here to say sorry to each and every one of you. You are so special. You are so loved. And the Father is so proud of you,” We proclaimed in front of a room full of women.
“You know, I just recently got out of an abusive relationship,” She said later on that day. This woman was hard. Sweatshirt and sunglasses protecting her from ever being fully seen, her tough demeanor started to shift. “I was beaten and I was bruised,” She told us. “And I needed to hear that.” She shook her head. “Yeah, I needed to hear that.”
Women who had built their walls so high you couldn’t even see the top, they started taking bricks down, one-by-one as the day progressed. Those that planned to leave after lunch decided to stay and get their nails done. And in the midst of our outreach, as I scanned the park, I saw laughter, tears, and vulnerability throughout.
The presence of the Lord was all over that park as we took the time to love them the way they should’ve always been treated, every hour of every day. Our actions may not be glamorous, and they may not be perfect, but oh how they move. When we put weight behind our words to give of ourselves, that is when hearts shift. They shift from something that is a set of rules to real encounters with Jesus Christ.
Our hearts are enthralled. We are gripped, longing for more of a love that would give everything, leave all behind, to take up our cross daily, and to see Him move in those we meet. Extravagance on the inside is what we’re after. But what does that look like? Because we’ve come to find that although plans are great, they don’t always go the way you think they will. God is still going to move. He’s still going to be there. He’s not worried about our plans, and He never has been.
And that, is the beauty of following Him. Despite our inadequacies, He still works. Because it was never about us in the first place.
It was and is about him. Always.
Goodbye from Nashville.