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The Best Breakfast in Danville
To be honest, we didn’t see it coming. The pace can be pretty quick around Grace and Main some weeks and this frantic following of the Spirit can often tempt us to miss some of the small moments of grace that slide past in less noticeable ways. But, grace of any grandness and mercy of any magnitude must be celebrated and appreciated if we are to be a people who follow after a God who chose to save us by becoming one of us. If we consider again the story of Christmas even as it looms on the horizon, we must confess that our God loves to work the miraculous in the midst of the mundane.
But, because we were busy working on short-term and long-term shelter options, hosting larger and larger weekly meals, building relationships among the homeless, near-homeless, poor, and addicted, and generally trying to follow where the Spirit was leading us, we didn’t notice a beautiful thing that God was working in our midst. On a street in North Danville, the Kingdom was taking root in a new way. In the midst of poverty, addiction, crime, and desperation, the Spirit was giving birth to abundance, generosity, hope, and faith. Where sin had known few boundaries, love was winning the day.
What we discovered in that place was some a breakfast one weekday morning. Some of the folks we ate dinner with every Thursday night started hosting an open breakfast every week out of their homes. These few folks, who we first encountered on a Roving Feast, were former addicts and homeless brothers and sisters who had found grace and hope and who were becoming a part of our leadership and group of regulars. Now, they were pooling their meager resources—the little cash they could spare from their jobs and some of their food stamps—to buy eggs, bacon, grits, and milk. They started giving up the security that comes with a little more cash in your pocket to buy flour and baking powder to make biscuits. All this they do—and all this they sacrifice—to show God’s love to a neighborhood full of hurting and desperate people.
At first, it was just a half dozen folks showing up to eat breakfast quietly and go on about their days. But now it is nearly 30 folks who show up to laugh, talk, and share their lives with each other once a week around folding tables full of food. Once again, it seems that grace has multiplied in the margins of our world and God’s Spirit is found moving most strongly in the place where we might least expect it. We should not fail to notice that it was our brothers and sisters who are least equipped to sacrifice that have humbly and willingly sacrificed to serve our loving God. They’ve given boldly and generously, not from their plenty or their wealth, but because they have built a relationship with a God who calls them ever onward in service and with a community that celebrates their redemption and transformation.
Oh yes, the Spirit is moving in Danville and neighborhoods are being changed. Those who once were quiet participants in a Roving Feast in the abandoned and neglected places of Danville are now leaders and co-conspirators in this conspiracy of grace, mercy, and forgiveness. Lives are being changed and transformed in all those places you might not think to look and the celebrations are practically unceasing. Things are changing—one relationship at a time and one meal at a time.