Doing Something New
By John Chatburn of Spokane, WA, USA
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. -Luke 4:1-2 NRSV
On a blustery fall day in Spokane, Washington, I stood in a courtyard with a group of tradespersons, elected officials, bankers, residents of the community, and housing developers. The courtyard was at a sleek, new, multi-family apartment building designed specifically to provide affordable housing to the urban Spokane community. On that day we dedicated the building simply known as “West 315.”
One of the people I met that day was Becky. Becky has many challenges in life, and her mind works differently than that of most people. West 315 is the first place outside of a homeless shelter or domestic violence shelter that Becky will be able to call home. Her eyes grew wide with amazement when she stepped into the unit that would become hers. When people like Becky have a roof over their heads, their lives begin to change. They know where they are going to sleep at night, they have an address, they have stability, and they are able to work on other life challenges.
I was a part of this dedication because of a change in my life. In 2015 I decided to risk something new and pursue a degree in Urban and Regional Planning with a focus on helping communities co-create an equitable, livable, and sustainable future. Previously, I had worked for Community of Christ for 13 years. My studies eventually led me to work with a non-profit affordable housing developer that builds homes for the most vulnerable people in our communities-people the market has forgotten.
Doing something new with your life is scary, and I am a person that does not like uncertainty. Although there have certainly been moments of uncertainty along my journey, God has gone with me.
Greet the future with openness, not fear. You’ll be blessed. I was.
God, may my deep hope align with your deep vision. Release in me anything that keeps me from freely following your Spirit. Amen.
Invitation to Spiritual Practice
Breathe deeply as you enter a time of silence. Become gently attentive to what may be restricting you from faithfully responding to the divine invitation in your life. Are there priorities, attachments, tasks, or motivations competing for your response? What does freedom for God look or feel like in you this day?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.