Facilitating Unlikely Intersections: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?
It is easy to love people who are different than us from a distance, but to intersect in a very direct and personal way can be quite scary for some of us. My first experience with Dry Bones showed me exactly that: it is not terribly difficult to love people from a distance, but it takes commitment and a certain vulnerability to really pursue a person that lives differently or thinks differently than I do. A desire to be in community with others, regardless of where you’ve come from in life, is at the core of what Dry Bones is all about.
On October 17th, 2014, around 150 people gathered around tables of ten in the name of Dry Bones. It was a fundraiser event that quickly become a family celebration!
We made an effort at this event to break down some of the barriers between “us and them”. We intentionally created intersections so that people who may have otherwise never connected, did. While some people walked to the fundraiser, some drove, and others flew, we all came to the event with a desire to support this community that is learning to love one another as Christ loves us all.
Dry Bones invited some of our street-connected friends to serve as table hosts at the event. These friends boldly facilitated conversations about community, belonging, and the role that Dry Bones plays in our lives.
As humans, we all desire to belong. We desire to be part of a community that brings us to life. For me, the 2014 fundraiser was a hopeful experience because it gave me a snapshot of what I believe to be a kingdom-minded community; loving and accepting without judgment, breaking bread together, and sharing stories.
One of the questions that our table hosts asked their small group was, “Why does Dry Bones need to exist tomorrow?” My table host shared that without Dry Bones, she would probably not be alive. Dry Bones is family to her. My answer to this question was different, but had similar connotations. I said that Dry Bones causes me to feel that I belong to something bigger than myself.
Here we are, two very different people with two very different stories, but Dry Bones is home to us all. It is beautiful to know there is a community where an upper-middle-class-soon-to-be-college-graduate; a young homeless man struggling with an addiction, a successful wealthy businessman, and a low-income mother who has been involved with sex-trafficking and gangs can sit at a table and share a meal as friends.