It seems to me it would be handy to have a song for the shoveling revolution. Something inspiring and catchy. Something by an icon. I offer "Gotta Serve Somebody" by Bob Dylan as the theme song for the mad shovelers of Chicago.
Other nominations? Anybody second my choice? (I'd upload the song but its a rights-managed itunes song--argh.)
I've seen this before but I always marvel at it when it happens. There is a domino effect when you serve people, even quietly. After Tyce and I shoveled some spots, my next door neighbor Raul did the same the next day. Another neighbor routinely snowblows about 6 or 7 houses worth of sidewalk, including mine. Another family shoveled out a spot and saved it but then thought better about it the next day and got rid of the spot savers.
And now, a week into heavy snowfall, only one person on our block has kept out any spot savers. We've chucked those milk crate markers twice (in Christian love) and then parked in another "unsaved" spot. We're trying to communicate that parking spots are for anyone. I think our communication is pretty effective.
There's a culture of serving emerging which is being shaped by... serving. This is a very powerful spiritual principle--serve before the culture values serving and watch people start to value and participate in serving in a deeper way. Now certainly this is not foolproof--some people will refuse to change even if everyone else is serving. But by and large, in every social sphere and group, I believe you can sow seeds of serving and watch others begin to sow them along with you bringing a harvest of good.
Meeting with Tom Barrett (one of the pastors at Holy Trinity Church) this morning brought that image to my mind. The body needs a skeleton and organs but it also needs soft connective tissue--ligaments, tendons, skin--that bind the different parts together and give the body have form and flexibility.
I think it is God's heart that all the different expressions of church community in a particular region would have lots of connective tissue. That churches bearing different names but the same Jesus would be full of attachments and connections.
It was good to get up to speed with what Holy Trinity is doing during this season and to share some of our journey. Life-giving churches communicate, bless and cooperate with fellow churches and leaders. I'm grateful that this has always been New Life's legacy.
Sidenote: I love the concept of Authors@Google. The premise seems to be, invite a thought-provoking author to present a thumbnail of their work to Google employees for the simple reason of adding value to the employees' lives. Honestly, Google probably takes better care of their employees than just about any church I know of. So I'm wondering, how could we harness the concept of Authors@Google at New Life? How could we bring great thinkers, writers and people of faith into our staff environment to present their best material and let it be a catalyst for growth, adding value to our staffs' lives.
Gil and I stopped by Sacred Art after having a rare lunch date together in Roscoe Village. Sacred Art has great local artists with a lot of Chicago-themed art--I love going in there! What particularly caught my eye and my bank card was a very cool poster of Chicago neighborhoods. Check it out:
You can pick one up at Sacred Art for $25. I think that's pretty cheap. These posters are awesome! As we were walking out, someone else was walking in to and asking about "that Chicago map poster..." Good stuff.