When the last group left, I stole a glance out my window to discover a gentle snowfall, the refracting light suggesting a moment to pause and appreciate the beauty. As I glanced across the hushed cityscape, I remembered our Room in the Inn guests, chronically homeless members of our community, gathering in the Fellowship Hall for a meal and warm shelter. I offered a quick prayer of gratitude that our congregation would take in these guests and decided to see if they needed any extra volunteers.
I approached the Fellowship Hall, glanced through the window panes, and was struck by another picture. A passel of young adults -- most of them new to Charlotte and Covenant -- were sitting at round tables, sharing a meal, engaging in conversation, and enjoying our guests. The menu that night reflected the demographic: Bojangles instead of meatloaf, Trader Joe's ready-to-eat in place of casseroles.
It was a remarkable sight for many reasons. Young adults with a multitude of options giving of their time and energy to serve the homeless of their new city. Faithful young professionals braving poor driving conditions, last-minute shopping lines, and traffic jams to make their way to church to serve with others they barely knew. Nearly all of them came straight from work, and they did it all with a spirit of joy and humility.
As I left that evening, I did so again amazed a the quiet ways of God, the only one capable of orchestrating such a sacred scene. Homeless members of our community -- certainly in need of shelter and food -- but needing even more someone with whom to share a meal, sitting at round tables with young adults new to the community, away from their families, also in need of table fellowship. As a rare winter snow brought a thriving city to a standstill, two disparate segments of the same community discovered God's subtle provision in each other.
Winter beauty indeed.