Restful Grace

Abba told me this weekend to rest. This didn’t mean do nothing but to allow myself to be ‘off guard’; you see I take the mandate of seeking grace points seriously and there are so many in need here that I have to use discernment of who is in need at that very moment. We did meet a young couple, Marta and Marcel and there blond headed cherub (could spell his name for the life of me) from Holland. Dave had done the first touch then sent me back to greet them as well. They were perplexed about the homeless; in Holland they explained they are given a stipend by the government and are not allowed to beg. They also felt that the guy they had just seen with a sign saying, ‘traveling, hungry, need money’, should just get a job. I had to explain that many in the streets are either physically unable to make enough money at a job or get enough from the government to afford housing, many are emotionally disturbed, and a lot have burned themselves out physically and mentally on drugs; getting a job would not be easy. I shared the ‘good’ stories we had encountering people of the streets who were kind, giving, gentle spirited people who for whatever reason needed help. I then admitted that there were those who were merely scamming people. I stressed that it was hard to stay compassionate with the overwhelming numbers but that people no matter their circumstances are humans and deserve dignity. I shared with them how churches were pulling together to help and how we had been out Thursday with Oceanhills church feeding the homeless and other churches and doctors were out helping. I think they were still puzzled but I stressed the churches part since they seemed surprised at the idea of churches pulling in the slack for the government.

We then rode the tram from the beach up State Street and Dave connected with Brian sitting next to him. Once the conversation got started as to what had brought us to Santa Barbara, for them it was a monthly getaway we shared what we were doing here. Brian shared that April, his wife, had worked with the homeless in Mariposa. Here we are on the tram (we usually walk) and meet other believers with the same heartbeat. Dave shared how we were having trouble finding a place to park long term and the prices were exorbitant for the short terms, Brian commiserated and then said, ‘God will provide a place for you’. He added they would be praying.

Sunday we were in a super service with Oceanhills, and the youth were in charge. It was heart warming to see them give their testimonies and lead worship. The ‘party’ worship time after was super charged with energy and fun. We touched base with friends who are on the look out for us a place and met new people. We have been so blessed to have found such gracious people who already feel like family.

After service and walking Gabe, Dave and I headed up to The Habit which yes can be habit forming, good inexpensive food, add Christian music and we are sold on it. Santa Barbara was having an arts and crafts fair and car show so the street was slammed as was The Habit. I found one chair and kept my eye out for another while Dave was in line to order. I snagged one right before he came to the table. Another young man was doing the same thing, looking for an extra chair. Dave started a conversation and told him what we were doing in Santa Barbara, he said he had been raised in the area and thought what we were doing was great. The ‘great’ thing to me is he is Jewish. His advice to us wasn’t how expensive it was, or how liberal it was but, “You picked a great place, you really need to stay here”.

All in all a weekend of restful grace. After all isn’t grace supposed to be free? Favor? Abba’s gift through Yeshua? Yep, so this girl reveled in the grace points which blessed me reminding me that He is the architect of our lives, the grace giver, Who loves grace points more than we do.

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