Pastor Steve’s Full Blog Posts
It’s time for a party!
Oh yeah! Play the soundtrack:
What kind of party? A website party!
We are officially opening up our glorious website to everyone!
It’s got cool stories and art!
And… it’s INFORMATIVE!
You may think that informative doesn’t equal fun. Obviously you haven’t turned on the soundtrack yet. Go ahead, play it! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OG_6CopW9GQ
Look around our website. Join the fun by registering. Get involved in some conversations. Complain about our spelling.
And most of all…
LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!
Directly across –>
there is an easy way to let us know exactly what you think of us. FEEDBACK! OH YEAH!
(have you turned on the soundtrack yet? You’re missing out on the fun!)
If you like it, go ahead and click the “like” button below. Then everyone will know that you are a fan.
WE LOVE FANS!
On July 31, this report was broadcast in Portland about clearing the homeless out of parking lots:
In this report, the moving on of homeless people is called “cleaning up” the parking lot. Not vacating, not requesting– “cleaning”.
Last night, we receive this report of three homeless people being attacked in Portland:
Here, this is a criminal action. Certainly, the first is done non-violently, and with the approval of property owners. But if the police have to “clean up” human beings, how long will it take for someone to take the “cleaning up” into their own hands. If the homeless are some-thing dirty, filthy, disgusting that must be cleaned, our young people will understand that the homeless are not people at all, but disposable items that should be disposed of in any way necessary.
Despite the chaos, beauty grows within the wild.
“I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock” (John 10:16)
It is true, some of our plants have disease, rot and are in danger of death.
But blight just gives an an opportunity to B- LIGHT.
“Blessed are you who mourn, for you will be comforted.” Luke 6:24
From our neighbor’s point of view, all we are growing are thorns and unkempt horrors.
“When this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!”(Luke 15:30)
Many are concerned that our wild garden will surround and engulf their cultivated garden.
But they don’t see the beauty that grows, even thrives in the wild garden.
The wild garden and the cultivated one can live side by side.
“In a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.” (2 Timothy 2:20)
We carefully cultivate our wild garden, encouraging the best fruit to be produced.
We water, feed, and provide a place to grow, but it is God and the plants themselves that provide the fruit.
We just provide the context.
“Neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.” (I Corinthians 3:7)
Sometimes we get a surprise visitor.
This visitor may seem alarming at first– will they cause harm to the plants, or will they help?
In the end, the visitor becomes another that we feed and cultivate.
“The man who had been demon-possessed was imploring Him that he might accompany Him.” (Mark 5:18)
We look carefully and we find nourishment has grown.
Every plant has their own joy to bring to the community.
“Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame.” (Hebrews 12:2)
Despite the struggle, despite the stress, despite the occasional pain,
the beauty of life of each plant is worth it.
“In Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near.” (Ephesians 2:13)
Most people want to begin an already cultivated garden.
They buy their plants from nurseries, they have carefully tended soils,
they might even control the climate and atmosphere.
At Anawim, we cultivate the Wild Garden:
plants springing out of nowhere, growing up any which way,
chaos barely tamed, sometimes completely untamed,
seemingly free, yet always in crisis.
The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10)
A wild garden doesn’t look like much when you begin.
It is dry, hard, unkempt, and the ground seems unworkable.
“Behold, the sower went out to sow; as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil…” (Mark 4:3-5)
Not only is the garden wild, but the plot is in desperate need of repair.
On the surface, it looks chaotic and impossible to work with.
But with God, nothing is impossible.
If you look carefully, even the garden full of weeds can display remarkable beauty.
“Her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much.” (Luke 7:47)
We take the cast-offs, like these potatoes, plant them, and give them a home.
And in that context, they flourish.
“I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:17)
We must not despise the wild…
…for they will grow their fruit in due season.
Do not despise the day of small things, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin. (Zechariah 4:10)
All pictures were taken by Steve Kimes in the gardens of Sanctuary. Some of the gardens are wild, some are not. But almost all of the plants are cast-offs in one way or another.
No plants were harmed in the making of this photo essay.
Um, yeah. That is a cliché. And there’s two reasons it’s a cliché: one, it is often repeated; and two, it shows an unthinking response.
The thing is, no one who is in a housed community wants the homeless in their neighborhood. The businesses don’t want them in their community, the suburbs don’t want them, downtown doesn’t want them, residence areas don’t want them, industrial areas don’t want them, and even if the homeless find unused wooded areas, they are often found and then moved out of there.
The point is, no one wants them anywhere near their area.
But they have to be SOMEWHERE. Homeless people exist. They can’t just disappear and take up no space at all. It has been tried to make homeless people illegal. But if you make them illegal, you just fine people who can’t pay the fines. You make it illegal for certain people to exist. That doesn’t work. And if we think about that for a second, we know it doesn’t work.
So, how about this. Instead of telling the homeless to disappear, why don’t we give them places where they can exist. Places that will keep an eye on them and help them. Places that will care for them and treat them with respect. Places that will encourage them to use resources that will (eventually) help them to get themselves off the street. Places that will work with the community and work to make peace between the homeless and the community.
We call that place a church. Not just any kind of church, obviously, but a church that does what Jesus did when he was on earth—feeding the poor, welcoming the outcast and making peace. Really, that’s what churches are supposed to do.