story from the field

Submitted by Marti Evans, One Step Ministries

 
Marti.png

Christ in the Calm
Perhaps it was the many prayers that went up to the throne room in the last few days. Perhaps it was the experience we've gained on this fourth return to the shelter. Perhaps it was the confidence we now have that in One Step Ministries' short history, we've witnessed God show up over and over again. Perhaps it is all of the above, that brought Paula and I, a calm assurance as we arrived to the shelter on Saturday afternoon.

Christ in the Chaos
It's chaotic. It just is. Women coming in and out of the room during the sessions. Children, out of control children, challenging the ones caring for them. The storm of rain, hail, wind, thunder and lightning raging outside, just when it was time to pair the women up to walk and talk together. Chaos. Can we even imagine the chaos in the lives of these dear ones and their children? For a few brief hours, we can.

Christ in the Change
Jasmine listened intently, nodded and took notes as I shared my story. When I finished, she thanked me, then looked at her notes and began telling me all the similarities in her story to mine. Abuse. Abortion. Abandonment. Alcohol. Drugs. Rejection. Sins done by her and to her. She went on to say that three years ago, during her second time in prison, she met Jesus. She is different, no longer bitter and ugly, but forgiving of those who hurt her. She said God has called her to write a book. I took mine off the bookshelf, that I donated to the shelter last year, and handed it to her. She laughed. I listened. So many similarities. We are the same. Created in the image of God. One step in either direction changes our lives. Jasmine just took more steps in the wrong direction than I did. But Christ came and He is changing her and He is changing me. The circumstances have not changed yet, but she has. Jasmine is just like me. 

Christ IS Compassion
Years ago, there was a popular saying, "What would Jesus do?" There were even bracelets with it written on, so you would remember to ask the question in any given situation. I wonder if we need a better question. Perhaps, we can ask, "What WILL Jesus do?" We know from His word that when we call out to Him, He WILL come. On Saturday at the shelter, He did come. He came through the words we spoke and the stories we told. He came through the songs of worship we sang. He came through the hands that prepared and served the meal and the hands that held the out of control children. He came into the hearts of the dear ones living at the shelter. He comes through His children that stay connected to Him, in the moment, so His compassion pours out of them. 

Jesus said: ‘I am the Vine and you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me, you can do nothing.’
— John 15:5

On Saturday at the shelter, we experienced Christ in the calm, Christ in the chaos, and Christ in the change, for Christ IS compassion.