How does your Christian faith inform, fuel and release your passions? This question has stuck with me since attending an Information Evening this week at Maswell Park Evangelical Church hosted by Home for Good, a charity that seeks to find a safe home for each of the 9000 children in the UK needing one. That number is so staggering that real passion is needed for change.
And that is what I witnessed on Wednesday: a social worker who delivered us the stats, facts and figures with infectious enthusiasm; a lady who had to wait many years before she was able to say ‘you were my first choice’ to her foster son; a man who confessed reluctance at first but came to see the value of providing a stable male presence for children with few male role models.
What they all had in common was that their passions had been shaped and directed by their faith in Jesus. They had understood that somehow their welcome into God’s family meant they could also welcome others, even strangers. This was radical hospitality, and I can see seeds of this kind of hospitality in St John’s and St Mary’s and I am encouraged. How we use our homes and how we raise our own kids (let alone others!) are obviously huge questions, but the question still lingers: how can we as a community develop a commitment to radical hospitality further?
Christians rightly get involved in all sorts of excellent social action projects directed at adults – and of course we should step up what we do with the Shelter Project, the Food Bank etc. Home for Good’s work with children, however, is a reminder that adults who face a hard time in life were often children who faced difficult childhoods through no fault of their own. Making a difference for children who face a tough time now can help them live stable, flourishing lives as adults too. It is all connected.