I rushed into the large community room flustered.
"Sorry! I was trying to get some donations to the office,"
"No worries," I heard from some of the people gathered. "We knew you'd come."
It stopped me in my tracks because this indicated a significant change that had occurred in our relationship. Just four months ago, I had to rally people to our chapel service and was often met with, "I wasn't sure if you were coming." Even though chapel was weekly, I was still new to the community gathered at Transitions Homeless Shelter. The clients weren't sure I was going to stick around.
This isn't that uncommon. Volunteers often pop in and pop out of their lives, hosting one dinner around Thanksgiving or giving a one time donation to help them fight off the cold. There are very few people in their lives who show up again and again.
We've been working at Transitions for eight months. We have finally formed a foundation for an ongoing relationship. A relationship not around trying to change them into different people. A relationship not around judgement of them or their life circumstances. Instead a relationship grounded on the desire to come together to worship and celebrate the Lord's Supper.
Thanks be to God.