In our Lenten small faith sharing group last night we discussed the concept of “vertical Eucharist” and “horizontal Eucharist”, vertical being between us and God, horizontal between us and others here on earth. We thought the vertical took place each Mass during the transubstantiation, when God comes to us in physical form as the Body of Christ; and horizontal as the call for us to take that grace received out to our fellow man and share the Word. Working at Hope House feels like doing exactly that!
Until I have a day like today. My morning started before we opened with having to call the police about two men who have been causing repeated trouble here on the church property. Hearing one of them call me a “cold hearted b****” and having the police trespass them from the property for life did not feel like sharing the grace, needless to say. If this had not been the 3rd call to the police about these two, I would never have made the decision to be so stern. I was literally begging the Holy Spirit to help.
Follow that up with a visit from a registered sex offender showing up and having to tell him that he could not be on the property of our church due to the school full of children. Even when I told him to send someone in for what he needed, it felt like I was hoarding the grace and mercy of Christ!
Then came “Kirk”, a longtime client who is very fragile mentally, emotionally and physically. Over the years, we have helped him with many things, boosted his spirits and even talked him through a possible suicidal episode. Today he came in with plans to move to Texas where he has family, and a card of thanks to Hope House for years of assistance and support. We wish him well in his new life with his loved ones.
On Monday, TJ, another client we have been working with, came up to me to let me know he has 35 days clean and sober. When I gave him a hug, he said “thanks to Hope House for being here for me”. He is a delightful young man when his demons are not driving him.
“Mary” and her two little boys are weeding, edging and planting our front flower beds for us, because, as she says “Hope House has helped us so much, we want to give back”.
So there is an upside to horizontal sharing of the Body of Christ with the Body of Christ!