Curious. One word that describes the emotions that I have been feeling the last 24 hours. For those who haven't heard, the fire marshall decided to visit The Spot (our church building) yesterday morning. Unfortunately, the result was a firm declaration that the building, in its current condition, is unsafe to be occupied. Effective immediately.
Now, you might think that I would choose a different word to describe and summarize my emotions over the past day. You might think I would feel "worried," "stressed," "confused," "frustrated," or even "helpless." I guess I would be less than honest if I tried to say none of those emotions have crossed my heart and mind. They definitely have. But here's the deal, those of you who have followed our adventure and mission over the last several years know that God has been so faithful and creative to take care of every need we have had both in our family and our church. God has met needs, opened doors and provided opportunities that we never dreamed of. That being the truth, how on earth could I be anything but curious as to what God is up to and why he is allowing this to happen?
Most of the people I have talked to, outside of our church, about this new challenge have been immediately concerned about where we will gather for worship this Sunday. While that is an issue, it is the least of my worries and I am learning it is the least of our church's worries. Most of the people within our church have just said, "No worries, we'll just worship outside. Thank God for the sun coming to Tacoma this past week!" The bigger worry, as you might imagine, is the opposite message this problem is sending to all the people The Spot has come to serve.
On a weekly or monthly basis The Spot is home to a women's exercise group, men's, women's and youth Intentional Communities, a Narcotics Anonymous group, a neighborhood block group, a non-profit office, and multiple board and group meetings. This particular week the Spot was also home to a college group who came to do ministry in the inner city. As of now, all of these groups, who use The Spot for free, have been displaced without notice. Our intent has been to meet needs in the city and in the name of Jesus, and now we have had to inform multiple groups that they are displaced indefinitely. While the response, thanks in large part to the heart of our church and in full to the grace of Jesus, has been gracious, why would God allow this to happen? I honestly don't know. But I am curious.
Over the last 2 weeks we have seen God do some great things through our church. We have baptized 11 people! We have seen growth in the church, in leadership and in mission. God is working and it's no surprise that Satan is attacking. Please pray for wisdom, provision and direction as we move forward. Please pray for the glory of God to be made even greater and the fame of Jesus to increase all the more as a result of this challenge... this trial. And, pray that our curiosity in this matter will be answered to the praise of His glory! I can't wait to learn what our gracious and creative God is up to. I will keep you posted.