This is a true story. One night around 10pm, someone knocked on our door. This is not unusual. His request, however, was a first:
“It’s our toilet. Can Jay come and help unplug our toilet?”
I said no. I told him to use another toilet in his house, and that Jay would be in there the next day.
That instance has become our reference point. We’re available, our door is open, but we don’t always unplug toilets upon request if there’s another available in the house. Further, toilet plunging is a one-time demonstration; after that, everyone needs to learn how to do it independently. But, outside of toilet-plunging at 10, our boundaries are pretty permeable.
Because relational ministry and building bridges means being available. But being available is a little like seeing the low-lying branch up ahead and choosing not to duck. You can’t determine to be available and not expect some pain, inconvenience, fall-out, and serious rearranging of schedule. [Read more…]