The Prodigal in Each of Us – Meg McBride

The Prodigal in Each of Us – Meg McBride

I believe that all healing starts with and stands on TRUTH. And I believe that in order to move forward, we have to start right where we are at. We have all been in the Prodigal son’s shoes at sometime in our lives. We have all gone off to a distant country in search of something — maybe some of us traveled 1000 miles from home, but maybe some of us didn’t even have to leave our own backyards… but each of us has experienced a time where we lived undisciplined lives and wasted everything we had. For me that happened in the late 90’s. I was unhappily married – you see my husband was a hemophiliac and had many blood transfusions as a child before our blood supply was safe. When our 2nd son wasn’t even one year old, my husband was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. He was so sick for so long and it was not uncommon for him to be hospitalized for weeks at a time. I worked full time and was raising two young boys all while caring for an ill spouse. Life never stopped for me and eventually, I just couldn’t handle it. On top of my daily frustrations, I was so angry at God for doing this to us. I blamed God for all our problems. Without a Higher Power in my life, I just survived the chaos of every single day and found myself always wondering if that day would be my husband’s last day. I used to hope he would just die because I was so exhausted. During this time, I worked...
Lament and the D.C. Women’s March

Lament and the D.C. Women’s March

My friend felt moved to attend the Women’s March in Washington D.C. on January 21, 2017 and her husband suggested she take a friend along for the six hour drive. I was that friend. “Sure, I’ll go. Why not,” I thought. When we sat down to make the signs we would carry during the march, I had no specific agenda of my own. We had just begun a study of the book of Jeremiah at church and so Jeremiah 6:14: “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace,” seemed to fit my mood about how I feel right as an American and my current state of grief after recently losing my mom to cancer. For me, 2016 was a year of personal lament. In January of 2016, I started a new career working as a advocate for people who have life-altering disabilities that are made more complicated by the reality of homelessness. I quickly found myself feeling grief and sorrow almost everyday. As a witness to my client’s lives, there have been many moments during this past year where I broke open, sobbing as I felt the weight of their sorrow in my own heart. The most intense moment for me was the day I met a homeless woman in the ED whose daughter had turned her out into the street… a woman in the process of recovering from a house fire that burned over 90% of her body… a fire that burned her breasts right off her frame and scarred her from neck to...
Long Drags and Slow Exhales…  Wants vs. Needs

Long Drags and Slow Exhales… Wants vs. Needs

This week I participated in the annual Veteran’s Stand Down here in Wilmington. The Stand Down is a convention of providers who serve veterans and those experiencing homelessness together in one location. Organizations hand out information about their services and attendees expect plenty of give-a-ways. People offered free hair cuts, there was a mobile shower trailer, and health screenings (HIV/HEP C testing), along with breakfast and lunch. I went to represent my job with the SOAR program and to meet people in need of Social Security disability help. I shared my space with my friend Randy from church, who came to represent our church’s Hope Center. The Hope Center is my organization too! The Hope Center is day shelter/respite space for people experiencing homelessness. As Randy set up, he showed me his give-away… cigarettes!!! (Our table was next to the American Heart Association–needless to say, they were a bit shocked!)  Randy had put a few cigarettes in ziploc baggies and I just happened to have books of matches as my give-away (people experiencing homelessness who camp outside, use matches in their camps). Without planning, Randy and I made a good team of wants… or was it needs?   As we began to hand out the cigarettes and word got around the convention, our table was the most visited. People expressed surprise followed by deep appreciation for Randy’s give away. As Randy and I discussed how he had made his hand-out choice he said, “I’ve never been asked by a person on the street if I could spare a mini tube of toothpaste or a clean pair of socks.” I...
My Call To MISSION…

My Call To MISSION…

One day I was invited by a friend to attend a morning coffee time being hosted for the homeless. I thought, “What would I possibly say to homeless people? And besides, I don’t like homeless people anyway… they scare me!” Yeah… nice offer but that wasn’t happening. Then one Wednesday morning I woke up and felt that little God tug that really gets one’s attention and out of obedience, not preference, I drove down to morning coffee with the homeless. Oh boy… A friend had advised me to engage the homeless by starting conversations with the simple question, “Where did you grow up?” So I engaged the homeless with my one question and then simply listened to them (because I really didn’t know what else to do). Another God tug so I went back again another day and repeated the process using my one question. I went another day… and I discovered that I was beginning to make friends. I watched as the defining lines that separated us (appearance, status, and even body odor) started to blur in my mind–realizing that was the work of God, not me. A heart changed, eyes refocused and fear lifted. Over coffee, I met a caseworker who told me that she helped the homeless access Social Security benefits. Her work sounded amazing! A few months later, my pastor told me a position had opened up to work with this caseworker and I was immediately flooded with the overwhelming need to apply for the job… again, obedience, not preference. After all, I had no experience, no social work degree and I was only recently...

Recipe: Bread of Life

My pastor recently asked me to supply weekly communion for our church. Being married to an inspiring bread baker, I was happy to do so (my husband got vol-un-told). Every Saturday evening, my husband dutifully bakes our communion bread. On Sunday mornings, we share as a community, in the body and blood of Christ. Each week, as our pastor tears the loaf of bread in half, and recites the sacred words… I feel a tinge of joy that the bread we are about to receive together came from my oven. As Advent was approaching, my pastor asked if we would bake sweet bread for the season. The Saturday before Advent began, my car broke down and stranded me at work, so I did not stop at the store to buy the eggs we needed to make the egg bread for church. When my husband went to bake, I told him to make the same old regular loaf. However, my husband found one egg in our frig and set to his task. He called me into  the kitchen asked me to braid the dough he created. Working together we formed the bread into a braid. As it rose, it tripled in size. From our oven emerged a gorgeous, bronze, egg bread (which we had never attempted to make before). It was lovely. And, it was huge! When I got to church on Sunday AM, I proudly presented our bread creation to the pastor hoping for his approval. The loaf was BIG. My pastor decided to capitalize on the amount of bread. During communion, he addressed each of us by name...