I traipse across the yard and my feet sink into the sopping wet earth, but the sun is a blaze of glory this morning and so I take the wet earth with this splash of light. Green groundcover peeks out from beneath the dead leaves that still bury the brick pavers in the side yard and I brush the dead away.
With my feet cold and damp, I turn back to the house to make coffee. The babies sleep. And I breathe.
I stand at the sink and wash the dishes I never got to last night and through the window, I watch the leaves dance on the tree limbs.
The back door creaks open and he’s home earlier than I had expected him.
He stops in the doorway, before taking off his jacket and dropping his bag into a chair, and he grins. I breathe again and I match his grin with one of my own.
“I think he’ll let us partner with him and serve alongside him in his neighborhood. We’ll do a beautification project and invite the neighborhood to come out and clean up. Maybe do a movie night the same day, and grill out burgers,” he says.
I wipe down the counters and the more he talks, the more excited he becomes. “Tell me his story,” I say.
He does and as he speaks, I see him begin to connect dots in his brain. He’s an open book and I read him well.
“Well, he’s like a pastor in his neighborhood. He owns a convenience mart in an old dilapidated building and people flock to his store. People drop by for advice, a listening ear, for counsel. He gives them Jesus and a coke. The boys pull up their pants and watch their language in his presence. He goes to a little church a few streets over and I just really like him. I really need him,” he continues, “Not for our church, but for the Kingdom.”
“He needs me, too. He just might not know it yet,” he says, after thinking for a moment.
I laugh because I think Thad thinks everyone needs him. “Why does he need you? ” I ask him.
“Because I’m white. And he’s black and the Kingdom of God is a kaleidoscope of color. The city needs to see him loving a white man and the city needs to see me loving a black man and they need to see us loving our city together. Kingdom come, not our church come.”
Not our church.
“The glory which You have given Me I have given to them that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that you have sent Me and loved them, even as You have loved Me.” John 17:22-23