Thank you to everyone who gave me a reassuring hug after that last post. I got through the week and was reminded on more than a few occasions that living in the moment is truly helpful. I could have easily spiralled into imagining the worst about the future, because believe me, I’m a whiz at that. Instead I firmly planted myself in the present: I walked the streets, worked a bit from home, went to a few meetings, hosted multiple sleepovers for 10-year-old and under girls (it was March Break after all) and drank a fair amount of coffee.
Now I’m into a new week.
Today was PNC Drop-In day. For the last several weeks our Monday drop-in has been particularly calm, dare I say, peaceful- this, despite our growing numbers. I often wonder if everyone else in the room is feeling the same thing I am. Today I heard from more than a handful of people that they can sense the calm too.
One man sat with me and began to weep as he talked about the community, until he noticed his boys coming in and told me “I don’t want them to see me cry right now”.
Another said, “everyone talks about this place- they all say they come here to get their calm on”.
Grumpy, as he’s known on the street, sat down and announced that “everyone here has gifts to give. Some of them just don’t know it. The peace of the Lord is in this place”. Grumpy gave me permission to say this. He also wants you to all know that he lives up to his name.
Yet another said, “I always leave here feeling better than when I arrived”.
So interesting that in a place where no one can help but wear their brokenness close to the surface what emerges is a deep sense of belonging. Culturally we want to fit it because of our strengths, not our weaknesses; we often hide behind masks. PNC extends an invitation to come as you are, to expose all those things that you struggle with and to discover that you are accepted precisely because you ARE human, a human in desperate need of love and grace.
I am that kind of human. I struggle with so many things including, as I confessed above, a strong inclination to worry. I need the PNC community just as much as the next person. I need the kind of peace that Grumpy was talking about: the peace of the Lord.
I have no idea what the future holds. I do know that right now, in this moment today, I am given what I need by God to be calm. And much of that comes via what my co-worker aptly described as our “amazing family here”.