I have a confession to make; I can be a snob. When I say a snob I don’t mean to people per se, I mean places and attitudes. I like professionalism, I think I would choose professionalism over laid back friendliness. I would love to have both, people who are friendly and professional but for the most part it doesn’t seem as if they go together. We researched a park above Santa Rosa (above San Francisco) it looked great, the description sounded good when Dave talked to the lady on the phone asking questions it seemed ideal for us to be at while waiting for our meetings. I confess I was planning to treat it as a mini-vacation. It is close to the beach, close to a big city and the temps are cooler than where we’ve been. I don’t know why we didn’t read the reviews (maybe Ruach blocked us from doing so or not), they were exactly what this place really is. They didn’t actually outright lie about the facilities but…let’s just say I cried when I saw it and I don’t succumb to tears over places that often. I’ve travelled overseas and stayed in some pretty poverty stricken places but I suppose in the U.S. I expect a bit more at least in certain areas for the money we pay. The trip here had taken three hours longer than it was supposed to due to traffic on the 101 (who built these roads with all the on ramps that clog up the road??). We were tired and since it is the 4th weekend the office was closed and will be until Tuesday at the RV Park. There was a paper with our name on it naming a spot for us to park and that’s all the welcome we got. The first thing I noticed was that this park was was mostly live ins and that means stuff (junk around the RVs). Our spot was in the back and in dirt, unlevel spot, the electric and water hookups were on the wrong side and the real killer was no sewage hookup. Dave had asked for a pull through, with full hookups and we had been told it had them. Dave backed in and we leveled as much as possible ran the water line under the trailer… The slide out on the motorhome next to us was so close you had to be careful not to hit your head. There were trees but the grass in the entire park was dead or non-existent and we are close to the coast where they get more rain! I guess the real kicker beyond the sewage was dogs were running loose everywhere and we don’t like that at all. Dogs barking at Gabe upset him to the point he won’t eat…
We almost decided to pull out and chance finding something even on the 4th weekend, then I remembered we had mail coming and had to stay long enough to get it. Deep breath, try to look at something positive go to Walmart. All this time I was having an unspoken conversation with Abba begging for His forgiveness for having messed up and leaving where we had been which might have been hotter and not close to the beach but was much nicer than here and we know people there. I was asking for Abba to somehow give me wisdom of how to get our mail forwarded and get to leave sooner when Ruach haKodesh (the Holy Spirit) said, “You are supposed to be here.” Really?? This relieved the ‘we missed it’ minds wrestling but didn’t make me instantly fall in love with the place (still don’t love it). I tried to have a good outlook and prayed that if there was a person to impact that I would see and have an effective influence upon them. I suppose in the back of my mind I might have been thinking so I could get out of here sooner, I’ve already confessed to being a snob remember.
Dave and I walked Gabe and got some comments as was usual about how big and how beautiful he was, I smiled and thanked them (full confession time I might have thought, ‘yeah, we have a big shepherd so don’t even think about stealing our stuff’.) I don’t think all poor people are thieves but I also know that being poor doesn’t have to mean junked up places, loud boozing and yelling at each other continually (all this is very evident all around us). We took Gabe out for an evening walk and this time a lady who’d commented about him before started asking questions about him. I walked over to where she was standing and gave her the down low on the big boy. She then proceeded to tell me most of her life story. She is a caregiver, former beauty operator, she lives with a guy that she has been with for fifteen years, and she is worn out and tired. She told me they’d been reported for their loud arguments and hoped they didn’t bother us too much. Her boyfriend had just had surgery and she was the only one who worked and he wouldn’t behave, she wanted to leave but didn’t have the finances to make it on her own. There was a lot more to Liz’s story but you get the picture; here was my grace point, here was someone who needed hope and to know that Abba loved her. I didn’t have to push past the afore mentioned snobbery because I love people and always want to help them. When a prejudice or preconceived idea is humanized I don’t think about professionalism or trash, just hearts and needs.
I know the heart of Yeshua well enough to know that He leaves the flock to go after the one and is intent upon bringing them home to Abba’s house. I know that He is more than willing to allow me to stay in an offensive place in order to touch just one person. I know He cares for my wellbeing and for my desires but desires above all that none be lost.
Grace has its vicissitudes, it has its high flying moments and it has the walking through the mire times; what matters is that it is grace no matter how it is dressed up. I don’t have to like filth, drunken parties, loud fighting…but I do love grace and being a vessel that is honored to carry it even in the midst of it all.
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