Monday, March 29, 2010

Homeless Hosannas [Urban Homeworks staff]

I love how God gets my attention, those wake-up-call moments that I do not expect, but once I get I know my soul needed so badly. Yesterday's Palm Sunday service was good, but probably would have blended into the memories with the others of years past, except that God used a homeless guy in our church choir to get my attention.

Mac has been coming to our church for the past few months. Our church is located within shuffling distance from several local shelters, so we are honored to have a constant stream of men join us for Sunday services and even become part of the fabric of our worshipping community. Some of the guys have become psudeo-staff during their unpredictable tenure with us, working around the century old building on the incessant list of things that need repair or TLC. But Mac has joined our choir, bringing with him a passion to praise the Lord. It is a "joyful noise", to be brutally honest, flavored with a twinge of Garth Brooks and southern gospel. And Mac brings his heart and lungs faithfully each week.

It was downright inspiring, and incredibly humbling, to see Mac this Sunday with his head thrown back and eyes closed in full release of genuine "Hosannas," gently waving his palm branch. He had on one of his good Nascar shirts, a well worn button down shirt adorned with the name and number of a decade old racing has-been. He had obviously taken time to comb his thick greasy hair carefully, to present his best to the Lord that Sunday. Mac awoke before church in the back seat of his pride and joy, his late '80's Trans Am; it's his bedroom right now. He probably has seen the inside of a tub or shower as much in the last 3 months as my toddler and infact have in the past week. The pastor reminded us that on the first Palm Sunday, the King of Kings rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, in stark contrast to the war-horse riding early kings before and after him. Another example of the"upside-down kingdom" Jesus talked about. In this upside-down kingdom God takes special note of widow's mites and the pure Hosanna's of homeless men. I know God was so blessed by what Mac brought to Him. I know I was too.