Thursday, June 6, 2013

Different Sides of the Street {Graffiti Summer}

The next several weeks my posts will be dedicated to sharing with you my Graffiti Summer journey. You may ask, "What is this Graffiti Summer you keep talking about?"

Come on over and meet our lovely leader Alene Snodgrass here and she will fill you in.

To give you a quick summary, it's all about stepping over your fears to serve others. I love when Alene says, "Everyone can be a world changer."

Ever since I was teenager I wanted to be a world changer. When Michael Jackson released his song "Man in the Mirror" I wrote a letter to my parents telling them I wanted to join the Peace Corps? I was 19 at the time and had just dropped out of college. All I could think was there had to be something more than this. College simply wasn't for me.

The Peace Corps remained a dream when an unexpected pregnancy changed everything. I have no regrets. I wouldn't exchange being a mother and a wife for anything.

Fast forward...

I'm not sure what led me to read Alene's book, Graffiti: scribbles from different sides of the street, but when I did it released those dreams again. I also read two other books: Wrecked, by Jeff Goins and Kingdom Journeys, by Seth Barnes. God was leading my down a new path. Maybe dreams can come true.

How do I begin though? I know what the answer is. Let God lead the way.

The first action item in the Graffiti Study and Do action guide is to "drive around town with your eyes and heart open. Ask God to reveal what you need to see and experience." I'm ready God. My eyes and heart are open.

But wait, are world changers even needed in this comfortable suburban town I'm living in? I'm already not quite sure how to proceed. Drive around my town? I've been around my town. It's nice and comfortable.

If it's nice and comfortable, why does a PADS shelter operate in a church just a few miles from my home?

Alene says drive around town so drive around town I did. Okay, it was a small part of my town. The area I drove too is considered lower income housing, but it didn't feel so different from where my home is. They had a pool, a park area for children and nicely planted flowers surrounding the complex. I've driven past this place many times as its only a few blocks away. I wonder, how could I be a world changer here?

There is one thing I realized as I sat and observedas I sat there with my eyes and heart openoh, how guilty I am of judging those who live there. Ouch. That reality hurt.

As I take this journey of stepping over my fears to serve others, I'm reminded of how there are people on my side of the street who are aching to be seen and known. Two dear friends of mine are desperately in need. Several emails have been sent their way to let them know I'm praying for them. But could I do more?

Yes I could. I shifted my car back in to drive and made my way home to bake some bread.

An hour later I was walking down their driveway and was greeted by one of them with a great big hug, and quickly followed by a hug from the other. Have you ever had one of those moments when you know a single act of kindness changed someone's day? It was a God moment. God led me there. I was searching on the other side of the street and God stepped in and said, "Beth, today you are needed on your side of the street."

I don't how to take away their pain, but I do know how to listen and shower them with love. And listen and shower them with love is precisely what I did. I hope my visit warmed their hearts as much as it did mine.

God created us to need Him, but He also created us to need each other.

"He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us." ~ 2 Corinthians 1:4

To read previous posts on Graffiti Summer, click here.

Please only link-up posts related to the #GraffitiSummer challenge.


  1. I'm excited to follow your graffiti summer...God will bless you as you serve others!

  2. Beth, What a great mission you are on and I look forward to future posts. Sometimes those in greatest need may not live far away; they may be right under our nose. I know that God is showing me that I have a ministry to women going through divorce. Nothing like someone who has "been there" to offer those comforting arms of support. Your giving heart encourages me to make time to give too. Though prayer is powerful, sometimes we are called to do more...great post to urge me on! I needed this! Love and ((hugs)),

    1. Bev, your words remind me how there are times when not many words are needed... we just need to hear that *me too* that tells us we aren't alone. Thank you for your always kind words. Much love and (((hugs))), Beth

  3. Those God moments are so powerful. When we obey, God will use us in amazing ways. Looking forward to following your journey.

    1. Yes, they are powerful. Thank you for stopping in. I look forward to getting to know you. Blessings, Beth.

  4. This post stirs my heart. It's what Graffiti Summer is all about -- listening, seeing, and going where God leads to serve others. Broken people are everywhere. They sit in our churches, live across the street, and are found on the streets. Oh Lord -- open my eyes to where you need me today!!! Love you girl.

    1. Alene, thank you for all your love, support and encouragement as we journey along. I'm so grateful for you. Love you. Beth

  5. Beth, you are a beautiful writer.

    1. Thank you so much, Janet. Those few words from you have touched my heart deeply. Blessings and much love. Beth


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