I stood up at dinner looking at a room of 200 people and couldn’t help but smile. Laughter and crackling voices filled the air mixed with the clinging of spoons in coffee mugs. Honestly, it is a sight that I fear is going to become less of a reality for most of us. I stood and looked at tables of 6th grade students from a predominately white Christian school, tables filled with men from a black church, and even more tables with men from a Hispanic church.
My eyes were filled with wonder as they waited for the soda fountain drinks, politely interacting but with such authenticity. The fruits of the spirit were on display and if only for that moment on that weekend, the Kingdom of God which tears down all barriers and doesn’t consider yourself more important than others, was made tangible.
Relationships and civility are at a low point, people are tired, hatred is palpable. The Oaks is a place where all of these sentiments can be fought, set apart to bring all people of all statuses together in a common space and build relationships that together are not a clanging gong but a light on a hill.
This is our home, this is our heart, this is our hope.