I am not a Polyanna. And I am not a prosthelytizer. I am not a bigot. I am not your judge. I don’t think of you any differently because you are a millionaire, or because you are homeless, in back of my office – in either case, if I see you are in need of a pair of socks, I will not deem either one of you worthy, or not. It’s not my job. If I have socks and you need them, they are yours.
Here’s the thing; I was once the one needing socks. I know what it’s like to be in that place. I don’t like asking for help – and sometimes, you simply have no choice… because your feet are pretty cold.
Seeds of Grace has an opportunity to change lives. I have heard from some that our structure (our open door policy) is not necessarily “Christian”. I have been asked why “that person” or “this type” of person is welcomed as a volunteer. I have been asked “how come we bring gardens there?” And about whether or not some people “deserve” the efforts, energy, time or food we harvest.
It’s taken me a lot of years – I am hoping it is only half of my life – to get to a point where I could humble myself and ask for help. It hasn’t been easy! It has required a TON of grace – if there is a measure of such. It required so much self-evaluation and self-forgiveness. You see, I was stuck in this cycle: I’d screw up somehow – then try to cover it up with a lie, or some other sin – then shame and guilt would kick in and I would punish myself with seeming self-deprecation, but all that was, was the negative messaging I had grown up with, which caused me to desire to prove it wrong, by coming up with another scheme which would guarantee me some sort of worthiness in a man’s eye – then I’d screw up again, which would continue the cycle.
But someone acknowledged me. Someone reached out to me and allowed me a glimpse into the possibility of beauty through the Lord. At one point in my life – perhaps several points, I won’t know for sure until I get to Heaven – God’s hand reached into my world and made a change in my heart. It was likely through non-judgmental and unconditional love of some stranger. It was likely through the act of giving without the expectation of reciprocity. Someone’s act of generosity changed the course of my life.
My story isn’t much different from many others; except for the fact that many do not have the opportunity to respond to a kindness. Many don’t get a glimpse of a different life. Many simply have to trod along, carrying the unbearable burden of their sin, because no one loves them enough to simply smile, look them in the eye and ask them their name.
I am NOT a Pollyanna – you see, I believe that all people have the power to change the course of at least one life, simply by that gesture. I believe this because I am proof. I am not a proselyte. I will not make anyone’s change of faith a condition of being in my life, or me being in yours – because someone did this for me. I am not your judge, whether you believe as I do, in the ever-loving presence of God, or not. I love you either way – because someone loved me without judgement. I am not a bigot… I have been discriminated against – I know how it feels because someone saw past my economic stature, my personal life’s choices and showed me a kindness. I believe that our hearts are the same. We have hurt. We have celebrated. We have been broken. We have loved.
As a faith-based organization, Seeds of Grace is obligated to God’s vision. Our reach goes beyond those we feed with food – we plant seeds in more than just the ground. So, whatever your belief – wherever you are in your life – however you judge yourself, I want you to know you are welcome here. No one will tell you that in order to help us feed God’s Sheep, you have to believe in God! You have the power to change a life with your gift, and we would absolutely appreciate being a conduit for the benefits of that gift, so that together, we can change the world – one garden at a time.
I am unapologetically a follower of Christ. I accept that we are all sinners; and because He calls me to love you – I do! And not because of ANYTHING you do for me. Because Christ has already done everything I need! Love God. Love people. This is The Way. The way I follow.
We believe that everyone has value. God has given everyone a gift to give. That He sends those gifts to Seeds of Grace, in whatever form they take, will ALWAYS be considered a blessing. We welcome all. ALL. We don’t believe we have to be perfect to show and share the love of Christ. If you believe that, well…..