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My Thursdays are normally spent shuffling through another day at the office and working with the children at the afterschool program that the house oversees. A day with few surprises (other than those that only the boys of North City can deal you) with thoughts starting to turn towards the weekend; however, today was magically different! Today was a snow day for the Lotus House.
It was a rare day when no one had any prior commitments or obligations to fulfill. Everyone’s schedule was cleared thanks to about 6 inches of snow, sleet, and ice. A welcomed break from the routines that we all follow. So many times I feel like my wheels are constantly turning from the obligations to the community, church, family, friends, work, school, etc. A break to the hustle and bustle was a true blessing.
Like so often with community, nothing monumental was accomplished today. We shared lunch & dinner, played some cards, and enjoyed many laughs with the children. The simple pause to our normal routines allowed for unexpected bonding around the dinner and card table. It was an unexpected, but welcomed, opportunity. It was a great day that will not soon be forgotten.
We hope that others were also able to enjoy the small pleasures of a little winter weather can bring.
It is with great pleasure that the Lotus House can announce the presence of a new friend among us – Jeremy Whittaker. Jeremy is a student at Ozark Christian College in Joplin, Missouri. He plans on graduating this December with a Bachelors Degree in General Studies.
We became acquainted with Jeremy last fall. He had contacted the house concerning the viability of staying with us for a semester as part of a formal internship thru OCC. After an initial meeting, some prayer over the situation, and a little discernment amongst the group; we were happy to let Jeremy know that he was welcome to stay with us.
This semester Jeremy is hoping to learn hands-on what it means to live in community; we are humbly hoping to provide more than just a crash course. In the coming months each of the house members will be taking turns in discussing various topics that we, the Lotus House, feel are important to living in community such as reconciliation, hospitality, etc. We hope that thru this experience Jeremy will discover what he hopes to learn thru community and that all involved will be drawn closer to Christ.
The winter season tends to bring all sorts of new faces to the Lotus House. One of those souls who we have gotten the opportunity to know over the last couple of months is a man named Jay. He has been the recipient of some gracious hospitality by multiple members of the house, but I doubt he has any idea of what he has given me.
Jay is a homeless man striving to get his feet back under him. Since he has graced our doors he has been able to find and keep a job washing dishes at a local hotel & restaurant. He also had the good fortune of meeting someone who is allowing him to live rent-free in an apartment near where he is working. Things are looking up for Jay. I’m so happy that he has been able to achieve these milestones as of recent and hope that he continues to see success.
Jay was so excited to receive his first paycheck from his new job this past week. Like anyone when they receive that ”first” paycheck he immediately wanted to go get it cashed. He went to the local CheckCasher & received his cash ready to have a little enjoyment from the fruits of his labor. Sadly, Jay was robbed and mugged as he walked out of the building no less than a minute from cashing his check.
As Jay recounted the story to me this past Wednesday evening my heart was filled with many emotions. I was saddened, angry, confused, frustrated, and consumed with so many negative thoughts concerning the situation. Jay on the other hand was positive and upbeat over the situation. He stated many times over that God was in control and continued to praise the Lord for all the positive things that was happening in his life.
Maybe it is my personality, but I find it very easy to fall into the snare of dwelling on the negative rather than focusing on the many ways the Lord is actively blessing my life. Jay’s outlook is so inspiring to me. I doubt he has any idea of the great source of encouragement I derive from his faith and resolve in the Lord.
I pray that the Lord will keep Jay safe and continue to bless his life.
Romans 8:28 – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.