This weekend, the Free Clinic of Simi Valley hosted a fundraising open house. The Free Clinic serves the working poor and the homeless with medical, dental, legal, and counseling needs. The event was pretty great–wonderful food, an amazing band and wonderful people from the community.
The mix of people who attended was quite diverse. One of the tables was filled with some local homeless people. They came for the food and the music. Some of them came to say thanks because they have received help. One guy said: “This place has saved my life more than once.” And then he made a contribution to the clinic.
During the course of the evening, the band started playing some great dance music. So Andy, this donating homeless guy, got up out of his seat, and started dancing–with one of our board members, and with one of the Free Clinic staff members.
In that moment, all distinctions melted away. A group of people came together for a good cause and we were one crowd, one group.
Christine Pohl in her book on hospitality, Making Room, talks about the host and the guest. True hospitality finds the gracious host helping the needy guest, AND also the gifted guest blessing the needy host. I saw this over the weekend.
In Luke 5 Jesus heals a man with leprosy. A dramatic moment in this encounter is when Jesus simply touches the man. Touch. You never touched a person with leprosy. People with leprosy lived a life without touch. Jesus touched this man.
Homeless people in my community are kept at arms length. Most of the time they are simply invisible. But this night at the Free Clinic fundraiser, people, from different places in life, danced…touched….It is the best of humanity. And the Lord smiles.