The words from Isaiah 61 jump off the page as I read them: “He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted… to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”
My call to serve as Mosaic Church’s planter in Original Aurora has never been clearer. In the past few days, God has given me the awesome privilege of partnering with Him in ministering to the brokenhearted, the mourning, those in despair. It’s also incredible to begin seeing beauty emerging from the brokenness and ashes of the terrible theater shootings of July 20th. It kind of reminds me of beautiful mosaic coming together from a bunch of random broken pieces.
So, last Wednesday I’m minding my own business (well, mostly) and I get a call from the Aurora Public Schools Superintendent’s office. Cheryl, Superintendent John Barry’s assistant asks if I’d help them put together a meeting with local pastors. I was stunned. I have found amazing openness to collaboration between city and county government and churches, but not the public school system. The next day a group of about 20 of us sat in the Superintendent’s conference room and talked about the tragedy, the school’s response (Aurora’s schools start this week) and ways that the churches can help. Superintendent Barry eagerly agreed to put a link on their web page referring to us those interested in spiritual counsel and prayer! I don’t know if the Superintendent’s office is exempt from the ban of prayer in schools, but at the end of our meeting I asked, he agreed and we prayed. Cheryl emailed me the next day and said, “I truly enjoyed having an opportunity to be a part of the meeting with the spiritual leaders of the community and our superintendent. In my 21 years of work here at APS, I believe this was a first and I was honored to be there. Thank you for your prayers. I know personally that there is nothing more helpful and we serve a powerful God.” Mr. Barry called me on Monday, thanked me for helping put together meeting and asked if we could do it again in two weeks – I said “yes”.
There is nothing better than having a front row seat when God is at work turning broken ashes in something beautiful. Keep on praying!