What would you think if I said the following to you . . .

“We need 500 pair of tennis shoes of about 4 sizes before July 29th. But I know God is big, God is forever good, so I’m not going to do anything. I know God will provide. Not doing anything means I’m not going to tell anyone about the deficit. I’m not going to look for shoes on sale. I’m not going to even think about it really. I do not need to think of a plan. They’ll show up. I’m off to the beach.”

If I were to tell you that, I HOPE you’d think I’d lost my mind.

“What??? Do you not have faith that God will work things out?”

What if we look at that idea and question it for a bit?

Sometimes it is easy in this thing called Christianity to misunderstand the concept and relationship of God.

Because God is understood to be all good, all-powerful (omnipotent), and all-knowing (omniscience), it is sometimes misunderstood that we need to do nothing.

That the magic happens, and life is beyond our control.

But the beautiful thing about our relationship with God is that God is all those things (all good, powerful, knowing) – yet we have skin in the game (pardon the metaphor). Things are not just swirling around us, and we have no input. Our engagement in our journey and the path our journey takes is driven by us. Our connection to The Divine is what leads us on that path. Sometimes it’s easy to be connected. Other times it does feel like life/God is a whirlwind spinning, and we are being thrown about instead of caught up in the power and energy of it all. But, if we are intentional about that connection, we can do exactly what the writer to the church in Phillipi said, “I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens me.”

So, the shoe deficit was real.

But check out what happened. It’s a beautiful example of listening and connection.

For 13 years, Bash has happened, and it’s always been our goal to have partnerships with all the area non-profits. It’s a community thing, not a competition. So first of all, there is a history and relationship (and thank goodness – an awareness), there.

This week Dawn had a conversation with Mooresville Christian Mission (MCM) staff to talk about partnerships with Bash.

Literally, hours before that conversation happened, MCM was given 1000 pair of tennis shoes. (I’ll tell the rest of the story about how the shoes came into being in Sunday’s worship. It is a wow story.)

Because the Mission was in tune to receiving and in tune to listening to ways to share Love, the connections were made between Dawn, MCM, and Bash.

Thursday, 1000 pair of shoes were unloaded at Mooresville Middle and sit safely, ready to be put on children’s feet.

There are 48 DIFFERENT sizes of shoes we collect. Starting with little kids/toddler shoes and all the way up to Men and Women’s 12 – 14.

Would you believe that of the 48 different sizes they COULD have been, the ones that filled that room filled our deficit?

Clearly, there is power at work that is far beyond any human ability.

Not to mention the monetary donations that have come in . . . sort of like “manna for the Israelites in the wilderness” . . . . it’s too soon to tell but – it does look like this is going to be able to be the BEST Bash as far as what we provide for the kids. THANK YOU for your generosity!

Because we did not hire FT directors this summer and West staff selflessly said, “I’ll pick up the slack,” – we are able to do things like buy tissues (like Kleenex ) for each child to take to their classrooms. And Ciara shared with us (the rising senior at Mooresville High who is our PT Intern) that kids really need earphones in classrooms now, and that is difficult for some parents to provide; one of our vendors gave us a HUGE deal, and we were able to get them for $1 per pair. For 1100 students!

In closing, please read Ciara’s answer to one of the questions on the application . . .

It’s that whole “watching, listening, and responding to God” that we are talking about (and will be talking about on Sunday w/ the rest of the movie Air).

“I would love this job opportunity because of what it has given to my family and I. In 2013, my family and I moved to NC from NYC, my mother, who is a single mother, packed and moved myself and my three other siblings for better opportunities; we came with our last. Aid in any form was greatly needed for the 4 of us, who are all at least two years in grade difference and genders. My mother came across another mother in our community stating she was attending a “Bash” centered on providing start-up materials, clothing, and social interaction for children prior to the school term. We all were so excited because that year, we were already aware that we would have had to wait for new supplies. The environment created never made us feel less than others, it was a day of fun, and prayer, and we felt loved. Seeing this compassion, love, and care from strangers ignited a desire to give that same feeling to those who may have been in our position. Ever since that first experience in 2013, my family and I have volunteered. Each year God uses me as a vessel to provide and allow my blessings to overflow into another cup. I would love to keep this going on a larger scale in pursuit to continue and help grow something I believe to be important in/for a community to thrive!”

I’ve read this over and over and every time I get goosebumps. “Each year God uses me as a vessel to provide and allow my blessings to overflow into another cup. I would love to keep this growing . . .”

May we all find this desire . . .

Grace and Peace,