An old friend, seasoned in the ministry of the inner city, once used this illustration and it forever changed the way I see and work out the call of the gospel in my life.
When his son was little, his greatest joy was to help his daddy do almost anything and everything. Whenever they would pull into a gas station, he would beg for the opportunity to help fill up the car. Almost always, our friend would succomb to the pleas of his son and begin the process that allowed the child to be ‘helpful’. He would unbuckle him from his carseats sift him from the car. Then he would steady the boy while he wrestled with the nozzle. Being much too weak to pull the trigger, this daddy would wrap his giant hand around his son’s and squeeze the handle for him. Inevitably, there’d be splashed gas and the nozzle would drag across the paint on the car leaving a scratch to be buffed out later. Once the tank was full, the nozzle would be replaced into it’s cradle, and the child replaced into his seat, buckled in, ready to go, clearly satisfied with a job well done.
Truth be told, our friend didn’t need his son’s help. If anything, he often hindered his progress – made it messy, slow, and fraught with mistakes. Alone, he was capable of completing the work perfectly every time.
But as a father, who desperately, unwaiveringly, wholly loves his children, he allowed his son to help because he knew that his son delighted in doing the work of his father.
And he delighted in his son.
For six years, Mercy Street has existed to serve the community of West Dallas. In our own brokenness, we have tried to humbly come alongside the beautiful, residents of this community to serve them, to love them, to be the hands and feet of Christ and to live worthy of the call of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Could He do it by himself? Of course.
And, I’m guessing without a personal i.v. drip of Diet Coke and a stash of Milk Duds.
But He, in His perfect mercy, invites us to participate with him in His work – because He knows His children delight in doing the work of their Father.
For the first time, Mercy Street is in need of formal fundraising. Giving across the nation is down 35% and we have not been immune to this statistic. What’s not down, though, is the number of children, and their families, who want to be a part of this ministry. Kids wait outside for the doors to open at every event and, on a daily basis, children are asking one of the mentor coordinators when they can get a mentor.
One of my best friends, Jennifer, who I love dearly because she is so painfully honest, has told me more than once why she gives to the ministry. “Girl, I give what I give so I don’t have to do what you do.” We laugh and but the truth is, we couldn’t do what we do without people like her.
So, here’s the deal. Trey very sweetly, and with chocolate, asked that I put the need out to my friends in the blogosphere. One of our fundraising goals is that 250 new donors would pledge $25 a month. I know a lot of ya’ll readers live here in Dallas but many of you live in other countries, like Florida, and we need you all.
If you so feel led (no pressure), would you consider giving to Mercy Street – partnering with us to continue to do the the work of our Father? If so, the Mercy Street logo below, or on the left sidebar, is a link that will take you to a secure site where you can give. Also, feel free to forward this to all of your friends. I won’t get mad at all.
On a side note, if this is your first visit to my blog, take heart, I don’t ask for help all the time. I swear. Unless it comes to laundry advice. Or hair advice. Or good ideas for meals that look and taste like I spent a lot of time but I actually just defrosted and microwaved them. To those – I’m guilty as charged.