People often have a love, hate relationship with our metaphor. There’s grace for that. When I first started I had a hard time wrapping my brain around it, let alone beginning to explain it to others - because plants and I well…let’s just say that’s a work in progress. Eventually I immersed myself in the idea, took it at face value and didn’t try to insert my own interpretations. Doing that allowed me to be impacted by the culture and people involved. What I learned was translated into the following simple, yet profound concepts that I find applicable in all areas of my life:
Safe environment: everyone needs a safe space to be transparent and vulnerable. It doesn’t have to be the same place, but if we find ourselves walking into rooms with a mask on - we have to ask ourselves why is it not safe for me to be fully me? One of the greatest gifts we can give people at Hope Street, is a reminder that each man, woman and child is the Beloved of God. If that’s true, then as they enter into our space their status has been determined, this frees people to be fully them, and embrace others, as together we discover what it means to grow and flourish.
Growth: growth is a process. Growth looks different for different people, and is heavily impacted by people’s willingness to make life change. It’s easy to point out the ways that we believe people should grow in order to “get their life on track”. What I have learned at Hope Street, is that sometimes God has other plans for what He wants you to learn in your time of being present. Where I may think someone needs to get a job, they may really benefit from learning how to live in community. An addict in recovery, may receive the grace to forgive others. A mom learning how to care for her kids, may need to be reminded just how loved she is. Growth can be a lot of things. Growth is a necessary part of what it means to be human.
Last, and certainly not least, Hope: Most of the people who walk through our doors for the first time have one thing in common: fear. Fear of failure, fear of relapse, fear of being without, fear of relationships….it is a driving force that has left people in some pretty dark and hopeless situations. Upon arriving at Hope Street our goal is to point people to the Hope we have, because Hope quite literally changes things. Changes our perspective, our motivations, our attitude and purpose. Hope says, I have all I need (daily bread), I am loved, I have purpose, and I am wrapped up in forgiveness. If you ever wonder how you can pray for Hope Street, pray that Hope would reside, and be embraced.
Thank you Father for your Greenhouse for People on 26th and Capitol. May it continue to be a place of growth, intentional presence and transformative living. Help us get out of the way of the work you are doing in and through people’s lives in your perfect time, and your perfect way. Give us soft hearts, discerning minds and a willingness to grow in the ways you have for us.