I have moved many times in my life—at least fifteen different places—and it was always quite stressful to shop in a new grocery store which was nothing like the last one. The products were different and nothing was in the same place. The restaurantsseemed strange and you didn’t know if you would find anything you liked at the new place. Choices, choices, choices—what to do, where to go, how to find our favorite things.
Even more disconcerting the people were often different--accents, customs, idioms and figures of speech. I often felt a bit off-kilter, not sure how I should act. Do I speak to people on the street or should I just put my head down? The “not knowing” could be nerve wracking. When I was a little girl and we lived in Washington state my family received a phone call one night from a man who identified himself as a graduate student at Washington State University. He said, “I understand you all are from the south. I am from Alabama and I just wanted to talk to someone with a southern accent.” My mother invited him for dinner. There was comfort in just hearing voices that sounded like home. It is different today--in most cities in this country—big and small—there live people from almost every state and many foreign countries. Even if I don’t understand everyone I can at least find a small group where I feel comfortable.
Don’t get me wrong, moving is still stressful, but Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup is sold at Panera stores in Texas, North Carolina and California and it tastes the same. COSTCO’s good prices and quality merchandise are found in every COSTCO store no matter the state. Texans live in New York and Florida and California and even Minnesota. Security can be found in consistency and a move in 2017 is very different from moves that I made years ago.
This reminds me of the comfort I find in remembering that the love of God is consistent and secure. Most things in this world change, but that one is unchanging. Whether I live in Fort Worth or Timbuktu God’s love is the same—it is secure and unfailing.
On Easter Sunday we led a worship service at a Residential Re-Entry Center staffed by Volunteers of America. Prisoners who have good behavior may be sent there to finish out their sentences. To qualify they must get a job and live in the center. The director talked with us about coming regularly and we have offered to come lead a service once a month at 9:00 am on Sunday mornings. Any Bread member who wants to participate must go through the VOA volunteer process. Please let Jorene or Charlie know if you want to participate in this ministry.