Transportation Testamonies: a little perspective.

What an interesting day this turned out to be.

I woke up late this morning after not hearing my alarm for a solid 35 minutes. (Impressive, right? It was all thanks to the loudness of the fan and the lowest volume setting on my phone). So, I had to drive to work to get there in time to whip up five pans of baked oatmeal. (I will say, I was planning on that anyway. On days when I make stuff from scratch, I have to be there so early that I cannot convince myself to run to work. ugh. I am so lazy these days). It rained pretty hard this morning as the dish crew and I cleaned everything up, making me especially grateful that I didn't chose to run this morning.

When I got home I realized how blessed I was that I did take my car. I typically park underneath this dead tree. When I arrived I noticed the huge branches that had fallen off the tree during the storm. They were sitting right where I usually park. Praise God my car was not there.

This is not the first time my car has braved an escape from the weather. We had a terrible hail storm awhile back, destroying the Conservatory's windows as well as most of the cars on Congress (a street next to the church). That time, my dead tree friend came in handy, since it "protected" my car from the damage. (I realize that this tree really can't do too much so it is fairly mysterious as to how our street went fairly damage-free).

If I learned anything in South Africa, I learned the importance about believing that God is bigger than what we give God credit - that trusting in God for our entire lives means, well, our entire lives. After coming back home from that (a year ago today actually), I find myself praying over lots of things, including little things - like protection for my car and so I won't drop the entire pan of pasta I'll be serving at supper as I try and lift it out of the oven. Silly stuff. But I do believe that God cares about us. I know that this is tricky theology. Dangerous even. Who is to say that just because I prayed that my car wasn't effected by the hail and the entire Congress street was? As I said, tricky. I certainly don't believe that God cares more about me than any ones else nor am I saying that I believe God cares about silly things like a car. What I am trying to convey is that I believe that God takes care of us, even even ways we don't expect.

That is my car's testimony.

Speaking of transportation testimonies, here is an unfortunate little story. Sunday evenings are our orientation nights for the new groups that come to the program. Before we got started a sponsor from a particular group came up to our director and told her that they were thinking of leaving. What? They just got there. This thing is fairly dramatic, but in a "nutshell" (sorry cliche) they were afraid of being in East Garfield Park. Nothing we could say could convince this fear of theirs from being toxic - or extremely racist. They were planning on leaving. But then their bus broke down.

"Aha! Yes!" I thought to myself "Jesus broke down their bus so they would have to stay the entire week." It would've been good for them after all. DOOR isn't about feeling good about yourself as you come and "save" the people here. It is about participating in what God is already doing in Garfield Park and in the city at large. And that, quite frankly, is super uncomfortable, but in a good way.

So the group had to stay. During the day the kids went to their work placements and came back to find the report that their van needed a few days work before it would be road ready. (Yep. high-five Jesus!) I am not sure how this happened, but they still found a way to leave tonight before dinner.

I am still voting on Jesus having a hand with a broken down van, but this doesn't always mean that we respond to opportunity in a positive way.  Again, irrational fears eat at people for no good reason. We don't live in ignorance awhile living here - but we don't need to live in fear either.

I never want to be "that person" whose fears keep them from seeing what God is doing, from seeing people as the people God made them to be, from responding to situations in healthy ways. I never want fear to keep me from going places and from loving people who are different than I am. I am definitely not perfect. I have a lot of irrational fears. And I sallow my pride to say that I've noticed racism in myself. But I choose how I respond to my fears. And I never want those responses to be without Christ.

I am currently reading The House on Mango Street. There is a line in the introduction that I really liked. The author writes, "I did it [speaking about her life in Chicago] by doing the things I was afraid of doing so that I would no longer be afraid."

I like this quote a lot. We are going to have fears - sometimes really irrational ones too. But it's what we do with them that matters. So if Jesus breaks down my van, am I going to run or am I going to stay?

and that is my dose of perspective this evening.


  1. Love it! What you say about fear is so true! I want to be that kind of persona as well, so whenever you ened encouragement just let me know!! :) I love you banana!!!

  2. Hmmm...interesting. I'm sad they left, but I hope God has a whole lot of teaching planned for them when they get home, and I hope they're ready to listen. Thanks for sharing these stories Anna!

  3. Anna Yoder, you are good for my soul! :)

  4. Did you know that Jim used this at church the next Sunday to talk about he knew God was real? Teaching Jim to talk about the influence of God in his life - Anna Yoder you are my hero!

  5. wow. I had no idea. I feel very humbled by that. Thanks for telling me, Krista


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