With a tender heart, I’d like to announce that my formal, professional time with the Love Wins’ community is coming to a close. With the demands of two young children at home, one of them with special needs, I’ve found that they both need more of my full-time attention. As I step away from this work, I’m sure my children will happily reoccupy a large chunk of my time. My family is also planning an out-of-town move, so the time, as they say, is ripe.
But for as long as we’re still living in Raleigh, I hope to remain a part of the community, whether that be through Wednesday lunch and worship, or just popping in to say hello to who I now consider to be my extended family.
There are so many moments I will never forget, so many people that are etched into my heart. Sometimes I was wrung dry, especially in the wintertime, when I hoped and prayed and hoped some more that we would not lose someone to the cold. Sometimes, I was overcome with joy, especially when I was privileged enough to witness or be the beneficiary of the incredible generosity of this community. And most of the time (see: every day), even if I initially didn’t feel like it, someone made me laugh.
We’ve said that the Community Engagement Center is a place of hospitality for people experiencing homelessness. It could also be said, that it’s a place of hospitality for people experiencing human-ness.
In other words, it’s a place for everyone.
Since it seems as if there are so few, truly safe and welcoming spaces for people of differing races, economic classes, sexual orientations, or religions (the list could go on), the unique experience of being a part of this community has given me such hope. I’ve caught glimpses of what a more beautiful world could look like. I’ve caught glimpses of love in action. I’ve caught glimpses of God.
I am changed. And for that, I’ll always be grateful.