Some of my favourite times at the Dale are the community prayer times during our service on Sunday afternoons. Here are some excerpts from an especially poignant prayer from a couple of weeks ago:
“Thank you Jesus for dying for us, and living for us, and praying for us, now!… Thank you for this community in Parkdale, where people are real!…We know that you love us, and we love you too… Amen.”
I am often struck by the real-ness of people in this community. Many of us don’t have the resources to cover up our brokenness, which results in a kind of authenticity that is often hard to find in our world of image-management. But it’s not just brokenness that is readily shared, it’s also honest opinions, joy, and affection. I’m thankful that, more often than not, I really know how my friends at The Dale are feeling at any given moment.
I’m thankful that my friend “Pete” was totally open about his grief when he heard that a friend is terminally ill. His openness made it possible for us to offer him support, the way that he offers support to us and many others.
I’m thankful that when I accidentally offended a friend, he let me know, and we were able to work it out. I was reminded of the importance of honesty and forgiveness.
I’m thankful for the way that another friend showed genuine, unmasked wonderment and awe at the sight of a very young baby, who came on outreach with us and his mom the other week. I was reminded that new life is truly marvelous, and should be marveled at.
I’m thankful to be in a community that is real. I, like the person who prayed that prayer, am thankful that God is real, and that Jesus really died for us, lives for us, loves us, and is praying for us… now.