Last night was a very exciting night for me and my Lamb Center friends and family. The Fairfax City Council approved the necessary SUP application that will allow the Lamb Center to move forward in purchasing the property to build a new building. A dream come true, an answer to many, many prayers.
As I have shared here before, I have been working closely with the Lamb Center, a day shelter for poor and homeless individuals, for a number of years. I have been leading bible study there on Tuesday afternoons since 2008 and I have served on the Board of Directors for 2 years. Next year, I will have the privilege of serving as Chair of the Board of Directors. I am completely and utterly crazy about the LC community and believe with all my heart that Jesus is proud of the work that happens there every day. I think it is just what He had in mind.
I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that the Lamb Center staff and volunteers try to live out Matthew 25 in tangible, meaningful ways on a daily basis. It is a place of radical hospitality, transformational love and everyday miracles. It is the hard, messy, beautiful, real life work of the Kingdom. Although I do have a tendency for the dramatic, I don’t think it is overstating to say that the people there have changed my life and the trajectory of my faith journey. I am so grateful and God is good.
As we left the council meeting last night, our group gathered to pray big prayers of thanksgiving. This was an important milestone and the culmination of many, many hours of hard work by a lot of people for a lot of years. As people of faith, we also believe firmly that God was in the midst of every single detail. It would not have happened without His blessing. The story is too long and involved to share here, but it has been such fun to see what happens when people believe that God still works miracles.
In many ways, this is a ridiculous dream. We are planning to build a building that will cost 4.5 million. Yet, as we have begun the process of raising those funds, we have received confirmation over and over again that we are on the right track in believing that God is still in the business of turning our loaves and fishes into a banquet for the masses. It doesn’t make sense in the world economy, but makes all the sense in the world in my understanding of the upside down economy of God’s Kingdom come.
Here is what I am learning through this process about what it means to dream God-sized dreams:
- Prayer matters- People have been praying about a new building for the Lamb Center for YEARS. This is not something that happened overnight. A group of faithful believers have been meeting on Saturday afternoons for a very long time to ask God for a new building. We have come very close to finding a new home before, but it just didn’t work out. The timing was not right, no matter how hard those involved worked. This time, in God’s timing, the pieces are falling into place. By seeking God’s guidance, those involved kept working faithfully in spite of the disappointments because they believed that God was in charge.
- Just do the next right thing- It is overwhelming to try to control every detail of a big dream. We just can’t predict all the variables involved, no matter how hard we work. There are often people and systems and bureaucracies involved that make even the best ideas messy. As a person of faith, I am learning that my job is to work as hard as I can and just do the next right thing. I believe that there is Someone involved who has a view of the big picture, but that someone is not me. So my job is to show up, do the next right thing and keep praying for guidance.
- People want to be part of God sized dreams- It is my belief that God created us with a yearning for meaning and a drive to create. We want to be part of doing work that matters. When given the opportunity, people want to know that their contribution, their idea, their influence, their voice matters. We see a world that is broken in many ways and we find connection in being part of the solution. While the Lamb Center is not going to change the world, it is bringing healing in our little corner of it. As our enthusiasm for this project has grown, it has become contagious and our community is getting excited about being part of this dream. I think that is true of many God sized dreams.
At the beginning of this post, I put a link to the Lamb Center website. Check it out, if you are interested. On the website, you will find ways to donate, should you be moved to do so. For local friends, I would love to give you a tour of the Lamb Center, if you have never been there before. You will quickly see why we need a new space!
Our voice, our passions, our dreams matter. God made us to be co-creators with Him. If you thought God was on your side, what would you dream? What God sized dream is He whispering in your ear?