Give us this day our daily bread.
There are some evenings with SOS Chai on the presqu’ile when I have longer conversations and times to really get to know the name, story and personality of the young lad that I’m serving dinner to. Other evenings, it’s crazy busy and I’m taken up rushing around and keeping things moving in the ambulance and supporting team members.
This hazy photo I took when arriving late on Sunday for a shift, led me to think about how often they are ‘not known’ for who they are as individuals but just viewed from a distance as a blur on the landscape of Europe. A people group that no one knows what to do with, a problem to be solved, at worst, a threat to life as we know it. But every-time I do stop and get the know one of the boys, I’m always amazed at the courage behind the smile, and challenged to understand the story, and intrigued by the determination to build a good life on new soil, but also sometimes I get to hear about a dream to take something back to the home country that brings transformation and new opportunity.
These are precious lives that long to be fruitful, just like we all do. They are once again thrown into real survival mode as a European winter presses in and unknown or inexperienced low temps will challenge their bodies to keep functioning well.
I am privileged to know just a few of these lads by name, and a little bit of their journey that had brought them to us, but what I hear, and know, just propels me on to be someone that doesn’t judge or fear a crowd of unknown faces but strives to see the individual gift that each person is to this planet. One of the calls of a project such as SOS Chai, and one of our challenges as a new church in the city of Caen, is to value each person we meet and see each one as a gift to us, shaping us in amazing ways by bringing their uniqueness and their experiences. Which in turn, offers us opportunities to learn how to welcome, care, listen, enjoy and understand others better.
Each one, made in the image of the creator God, and each one, loved and known by him. Each one deserving food, freedom and forgiveness, as a daily offer.