Joanie hosted chocolate on Mondays every Monday. That was her style. She and her family lived in downtown Fresno on purpose: to be among the poor and live with the foreign. Wait, you might say, what foreigners? Any downtown has its own poor and foreign. The poor alone may be foreign to most. As a child, I remember feeling a little uncomfortable just going downtown Torrance. Pawn shops lined the streets in downtown Torrance. Foreign, to my way of thinking.
Other Christian families followed Joanie and Marty’s example and found homes nearby, in the midst of poverty and disenfranchisement. Joanie wanted to encourage her fellow sojourners, so Chocolate on Monday’s was born. Women knew they could find solace and counsel, stories and laughter, every Monday at Joanie’s–with chocolate thrown in. She didn’t even have to be there – just an open door and chocolate and women who needed reminding that they, too, were loved and could find strength in each other and in God.
Wouldn’t Jesus do what they did? Go downtown, not uptown? I don’t think He’d pick the big house on the hill. A house with a view, looking down on those who needed Him most. (That would be all of us.)
More like He’d go out of His way to stake His claim in the midst of them all–us all. He loved those prostitutes and tax-collectors. He loves those homeless and hopeless. He wants every twenty-something to see He’s on their side, helping them to be all they want to be, and so much more. That was His style. To plop down in the middle and heal and serve and get to the heart of the matter.
I loved that about Him. He hasn’t changed. When we open our door and offer up a bite of brownie and a slice of crock-pot lasagna, we show others they are worthy and loved and sought after–by One Who knows and loves them best.
Hosting for Jesus’ sake isn’t a certain style. You find your own style as you take the risk and open your door. It may include chocolate. (I’ve found that chocolate helps make a friend.) But it doesn’t have to. Love is the main ingredient.
It could include a tent – Jamie and Hunter took advantage of that.
It was easy loving on these twenty-somethings this weekend.
Quite the slumber-party.
The oven worked. PTL. And they were easily entertained.
Hope they come back soon. For another “Camp SLO.”
Your style may not include 18 at once. (I don’t blame you. I did take a doozy of a nap in the middle.) But don’t forget the main ingredient. Love. Jesus didn’t. And I’m sure He loved chocolate as much as Joanie.
PS Tonight I’m serving three different crock-pot lasagnas (see search bar for recipes.) Offered with love and garlic bread – oh, and chocolate marshmallow pie. It’s my style.