Bits and Pieces

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*The following blog is written by a dear friend and sister, Miriam.  Last fall the Lord graced CLDI with Miriam to shed the Light of Christ as she diligently works in our office and interfaces with the many different people that call or visit the CLDI office on a daily basis.  I greatly admire her love of God and love of others.

In the past nine months, my life has been blessed in ways I could never have imagined.  The phone rings constantly throughout the day with calls from people seeking housing and a place to live without their past casting a shadow on the dreams they have for a brand new future and a second chance.  So it is the same with people coming in and out of our doors at the CLDI office.  They come in many different personalities and backgrounds.  The demand for affordable housing is huge, but sadly, options are very limited, especially for those with tainted pasts.  Here are just a few tales of the many people I have come in contact with over the recent months.  It’s through them that God’s tremendous grace has become more meaningful to me.
The young mother graduating from a drug treatment program, watching her grow and abound with her children and job.  The pride is evident on her face as she shares how happy she is to be able to provide for her family and that we were able to offer her affordable, quality housing on the South Side.  She’s not scared to mention her past mistakes as it has helped her become a better person.  As I reflect on this young mother, I witness a story of redemption: God can make all things beautiful in His own way. “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  His mercies are new every morning.  Great is Thy faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).
And then there is the lady working two jobs so she can get out of the “nasty” living situation she is in.  She desires a home that is not moldy or rundown; just ‘something clean’.  Waiting for months for an open door, she never gave up as she consistently checked to see if we had any availabilities for housing.  I admire her spunk.  She endured and her persistence paid off.  She will be moving into one of our units in the near future.  (I think the gooey, homemade cinnamon rolls she brought by the office a few times helped a lot, tooJ).  God spoke to me through this woman’s persistence: Never give up, God will provide a way.  “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).
A current tenant drops by to pay rent and makes himself comfortable.  I anticipate that my next half hour or so will be spent lending a listening ear as he shares his frustrations of how hard it is for him to find a decent job because of his age and his ‘record’.  A few conversations ago, I discovered he had a hidden talent and encouraged him to utilize it.  He is now whittling away on a few wood projects and building custom planters.  Simply beautiful craftsmanship.  Maybe we’ll be able to help him find a market for them.  A glimmer of hope in a dim world.  I am reminded that God is our Master Designer.  He helps us discover the hidden talents in our lives and use them in ways that glorify Him.  “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works” (Ephesians 2:10).

My prayer is that God takes the bits and pieces of my life, your life, our tenants lives, and mold them into something beautiful.  “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Miriam Stahl

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