Today I met solutions to Terre Haute’s problems. I didn’t find them in meetings or read them in the news. They didn’t cost money but they showed up in stories.
I encountered the first fix sitting in a wicker lawn chair reading my tattered Bible. While I enjoyed the cool morning God reminded me why I reread the Bible. A short verse in a tiny book popped out at me:
“I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ.” -Philemon 1:6 (NIV)
For the first time I recognized what Paul meant. When we partner in sharing and living our faith we understand it better. Doing deepens knowing.
So how does Philemon fix Terre Haute?
If I want to deepen my faith I need to actively share it. If I want to know what I have in Christ I need to do what Jesus would do. Jesus said:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself.”
So I need to keep my vertical love active through prayer and fellowship with God. Then I need to actively practiced law horizontally to those around me. For me I need to practice giving and serving others.
I met the next solution at the YMCA.
She walked up to me and said, “I need you to pray for my jailhouse ministry on Wednesday nights.” Amanda Boston actively serves in both prison and jail ministry loving on women and men. She encourages, challenges, and loves them.
Last year she realized her health slowed slowed her down a little. So she joined the Y and a small group to get healthy to give more.
I see a walking solution in Amanda
Even though she has an abundance of problems she possesses a heart of joy. Despite struggling with poverty she looks to give. Through personal struggles she looks to lead. Terre Haute needs more Amanda Bostons.
The last solution sat on a bench outside Garfield towers
I drove up to see Miss T with a huge grin on her face laughing with her twin brothers. She recently got an old bike and needs help getting it tuned up so she can get around. I volunteered and stuck the bike in the rear of our minivan.
Tante Robinson dynamically mentors and encourages girls. Yet she faces a collection of health struggles which intimidate even me. She walked over to Isabelle’s side of the minivan to share that she has a port just like Isabelle (She got a smile and a high five). Miss T regularly shares her journey to health on Facebook with the hashtag #DoItBraveNot Afraid.
I love getting to see Miss T at the YMCA working to get healthy even as she feels intimidated. We need more men and women facing their struggles with a heart to love others. I need more of this in my life.
I know a lot of the problems in Terre Haute need big fixes. We need lots of people to work together. Yet, some of the most inspiring solutions for me show up in the people and passages of my every day life.