Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lost in Transition

Ever had one of those kind of days? The kind of days where you have so much stuff piled on your desk that you're in a blank haze as to which project to tackle next? Well, today is one of those days. (My mom would blame the weather, and, seeing the gray blah outside the window, I tend to agree with her.) The solution, of course, is to thank God for our blessings. Of which there are many. Today, I'm still smiling in the afterglow of a special blessing from yesterday.
Gina, a staff member, was charged with the seemingly herculean task of tracking down an old scrapbook that had disappeared during one of the most recent changes to the reception area. The photos and this scrapbook had lived for some time in an old credenza that no longer fit in the front office when cubicles were added for much needed office space. Upon realizing the scrapbook had disappeared, a small feeling of panic settled over me. This orange scrapbook, unattractive and mostly unused, holds a treasure trove of Mission memorabilia which Leon Kellogg had accumulated. Leon, grandson of the Mission founders, had included newspaper articles and photos dating back to the late '20s.

The photos were family photos and irreplaceable. My searches proved fruitless, and, with the chaos of the upcoming office move, it seemed the task of finding this treasure would have to wait until we were settled in Maplewood.

We came back from taking pictures at Maplewood to find that Gina had been successful. What was lost had been found. Lovely old photos, yellowed newspaper clippings, and that beautiful orange cover.

It was very reminiscent of Christ's parables in Luke 15, which culminates with the story of the prodigal son. Very reminiscent of the purpose of the City Rescue Mission. Matthew 18:11 tells us that "the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which is lost." Sometimes, we may desperately try to "find" someone and to bring him/her to our Savior. But that is, thankfully, in God's hands. In His perfect timing, He will bring them to Himself. What a blessing that we are able to play just a small part in this wonderful plan.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

When we all get to Maplewood...

Around the Mission administrative offices, we have a song phrase we sing from time to time, "When we all get to Maplewood," sung to the tune of "When we all get to heaven." It's really difficult not to talk about Maplewood all the time because, for what seems like an eternity, we've been preparing for this move. But, as with all things, the timing truly is in the Lord's hands, and we've all been learning a lesson about patience (harder, it seems, for some of us).

In some cases, the upcoming (as in the sense of some distant future) move had become a coping mechanism. Sure, it wasn't the most convenient to trudge up and down 23 steps every time a copy needed to be made, but "when we all get to Maplewood" it would be so much better... I'm putting on some "Mission muscle," but when we all get to Maplewood, we'll be away from the temptation of a kitchen right next door. With our cooks eager to try out recipes on even more eager office guinea pigs (us :).

Now, the day is rapidly approaching when the offices vacate and leave space for the men's shelter and public dining room to expand. It's hard to hold back the excitement, tinged as it is with a small sense of remorse. Because, in spite of the joy of a new "home," we'll miss the old familiarity of Michigan Avenue, the rich sense of history that is an integral part of these old buildings.

Waiting on the brink of a new direction in the "life" of the City Rescue Mission, it's an exciting and humbling opportunity to stand with one foot anchored in a rich history of service and another stepping on the building block of new opportunities to make a difference. Thank you for standing with us, to meet the physical and spiritual needs of men, women, and children in Michigan's capital area. Thank you for being a rescuer!