A Jew and a Christian walk into a bar
…have I got your attention? Good. Because it wasn’t a bar, it was a child welfare office, but that felt too wordy for an opening line.
Anyway, a Jew and a Christian walk into a child welfare office and find themselves sitting next to each other. A need was discovered, a conversation was struck, and a plan was concocted. I’ve told this story many times, but it seems strikingly fitting at Christmas time. Whatever your religion, worldview or culture, the Holidays are about togetherness, peace, and being present.
When OMD was concocted we never imagined anyone would take notice. We were simply trying to meet a need that had been identified in one mid-size child welfare office, in one small corner of one very large state. The idea was to invite the community to be present in the midst of heartache, but it wasn’t enough to simply be present. The mission was incomplete, it would never work unless the community of volunteers mustered the courage to bring peace to the children they served.
My heart swells when I hear stories from Office Moms and Office Dads who carry the children they serve in their minds for days after a shift. It is heavy work, this Caring. And yet they show up for another shift, with another child, from another family that is broken. These men and women keep coming back, despite the sadness, and with them is peace.
Our volunteers are simply the best.
At Christmas we celebrate the birth of a Baby Son who showed up in muck and mire and mortality. He showed up to carry the burden of our brokenness, and He continues to show up in the miracles, wonder and joy that we are lucky to experience during our whisper of time on earth. At Hanukkah we celebrate the victory of God’s people against an oppressive empire by lighting the menorah. We sing songs and tell the story of how a day’s worth of lamp oil miraculously lasted eight days and nights. When God shows up, miracles happen, and there is peace.
I am humbled to serve alongside people of different faiths, worldviews and cultures, and I am deeply honored to call my Jewish co-founder Friend. We are a motley crew, but what a joy! I would have it no other way.
Wishing you all the peace, joy and presence during these Holidays. Keep caring. Keep showing up. Keep crossing social boundaries in the name of peace.