I’ve said this before and I will say it again: I often wonder when people are going to figure out that I have no idea what I’m doing.
Sometimes this thought creeps in to my heart when I’ve had a terrible week. Sometimes it comes when things are going surprisingly well. In truth, I think it resides in me on some level all the time. I’m on a steep learning curve.
PNC, especially over the past year, has been one wild decision after another. No money? Okay then, we’ll get rid of our building. No food for the drop-in? We’ll call Second Harvest. No place to put our stuff? We’ll get rid of it. On and on it goes.
Here’s the amazing part: we’re still here. And we’re not just surviving, we’re thriving. Not thriving in the ways some might expect: we are still the church without our own walls with very few belongings. I still take a load of files and a little laptop to any number of my offices (read: coffee shops) along the Queen Street West strip. Joanna and I had our staff meeting on a park bench last week. However, our Monday drop-in is ever-growing; our friends at the Salvation Army Thrift Shop are making the Coffee Corner LARGER because our people are packing it out; we’ve started an art drop-in at the Health Centre; our plot in the Community Garden is secure; we have a committed team out on the streets every Wednesday night; our worship service is developing and we’re even about to change our name. And those are the things that are fairly easy to describe. Some of the best stuff is happening in the little moments stolen with our friends: the conversations around a table, the accompanying someone to court, the sitting on a curb and hearing a person’s life story, the holding of someone’s hand as they make the decision to get clean.
While these things are going so well, I still have frequent moments of wondering how the next bit of money is going to come or how I’m possibly going to find new supporters. I was reminded this week that what we need often comes in very unexpected ways. A country club called The Boulevard Club decided to raise funds for us through their annual tennis “Calcutta”. Who knew that could happen? Just today a pastor told me his church is prepared to support us in any way they can, this a full year after hearing my impassioned plea for PNC and our need for help at a conference. I am constantly reminded that while I need to do everything I can for this place, I also need to just get out-of-the-way and let it happen. God’s timeline is not necessarily mine.
So I fumble along, fully aware that at any moment I could fall flat on my face. Which is okay, because this was never really about me to begin with. I’m just a piece of the puzzle that is PNC. I’m confident too that when I land on the ground, one of my friends will be there offering me a hand, maybe gently teasing me about the fall and telling me to “get on with it…this place is about us and that us includes you”.
I speak from experience.