by Laurie Whitaker
It is Love in the Laces time again. Time to do some sole searching … and some soul searching. Last year you and I together provided more than 1,000 pairs of shoes to Women’s Outreach to be distributed to kids heading back to school. I was beyond thrilled with the response, the staff at the Outreach Centre were overwhelmed and many, many kids were excited and grateful to be able to walk into classrooms in September wearing a new pair of shoes.
As I have been planning and gearing up for this initiative again, I have been asking God for a deeper level of response and experience for myself — and for us as a church as we participate. May this be more than just helping out a family and kids with back to school necessities. More than an act of charity that just happens to meets a practical need right here in our community. That’s all good stuff — but my prayer is that we would look beneath the top layer of shoe box tissue and realize that this can be so much more than the giving of a pair of shoes.
I think it is great that so many of us are also reading through the New Testament while Love in the Laces is happening. As I am wrapping up the first week of reading, I have pondered over Jesus’ compassion for those he encountered wherever He went. Having moved into their neighbourhood, He went around healing, feeding, speaking life and raising to life. Meeting people where they were at and meeting the needs they had physically and spiritually. Challenging and reminding those He met to love your neighbour as yourself.
It is my prayer that this opportunity to serve and love our “neighbours” will be seen as an act of worship. That in our choosing of shoes for a young person, in the writing of that note, perhaps in giving of your time at the collection table, or interacting with the children at Women’s Outreach — that in all these things done as an act of worship, God’s love would be made known in Central Alberta.
Come and visit us in Ministry Lane starting July 12 for information on Love in the Laces and ways you can serve.