I spent tonight doing something I've never done before. I was so apprehensive beforehand. I nearly didn't go. I'm so thankful He wouldn't have that, though.
I went with the leaders of The Well (a ministry for international young people that I try to be involved with as time allows) to a Wednesday night soup kitchen that Goteborg's City Mission puts on in a beautiful old Swedish church atop a hill in my city.
I sat with homeless and needy people; the poorest of this city's poor-- the drug addicts, alcoholics, mentally ill and otherwise marginalized-- and was humbled by how beautiful His grace is. I worried about what we would find to talk about. Couldn't ask about family, jobs, or most other normal conversation starters, and what if no one was comfortable speaking English? But I was humbled by a kinship in our neediness for Him. And yes, I felt awkward and uncomfortable and the conversation was sometimes pain-staking (I spent part of the night learning about Swedish sport from one of the guys as we nursed our cups of coffee, and the other part trying to think of ways to draw out the sweet, smiley, slightly smelly old man to my right who happily told me that everyone there were his friends, and that he once visited London and loved every bit of it)... but I'm not sure serving Him is meant to be "comfortable" and I know love is meant to be sacrificial.
I'm convinced I came away more blessed and encouraged than any blessing and encouragement He could have given out through me.
We gathered together for a communion service in Swedish and the lovely Swedish leader of The Well whispered a translation in my ear. I can't explain how cleansing it was for my soul to stand there amidst that crowd of strangers and just be... human before Him together, and yet beloved before Him together... Mmmm.
And I'm so thankful...