Fly on the Toothbrush
Last week, there was a fly on my toothbrush.
There I was, standing bleary – eyed in the early morning hours of a weekday, and the most simple of tasks was now complicated by an intruder. I checked the drawer, hoping that perhaps some angel had gifted me with a new toothbrush sometime during the night. Nothing.
Sometimes life seems unnecessarily hard. Simple tasks become confounded by events beyond our control. We turn on the news only to be told that things are getting worse instead of better; a friend or family member has an accident that changes their life forever. Some days, it seems that the flies outnumber the toothbrushes, the problems outnumber the solutions, and we find ourselves paralyzed by an overwhelming sense of inadequacy.
Earlier this month, our choir performed a concert for a community of homeless families outside of Austin through an organization called Mobile Loaves and Fishes. Their story is an incredible one, and was recently told in People Magazine. What began in the early 2000’s as a mobile food service to the homeless population in Austin, has since evolved into a neighborhood of 130 micro homes, 100 RV’s, a community market, a medical center, a barbershop and an outdoor movie theater. Residents pay $300/month in rent, which they earn by performing jobs in the community earning $12/hour. The stories of redemption that have come from this ministry are mind blowing.
What’s even more incredible? This neighborhood is not the result of city planning, or a church initiative, but the dream of an individual named Alan Graham. One man who saw a fly on a toothbrush, and heard God calling him to do something about it. So he did.
One of the things I love about Jesus is that he spent his life in the midst of challenge. He didn’t run away from them, he embraced them. When a crippled man was lowered through a hole in the roof of the house he was staying in, he didn’t complain about the hole, he healed the man. I think he wants us to live life the same way. We can ignore the things we see that we don’t like. We can complain about them. We can allow them to frustrate us. Or we can hand out a sandwich and allow God to take it from there.
I’m inspired by our choir. Not just because they can do things with their voices that I can only dream about, but because they are taking their gift into challenging places.
A fly on your toothbrush doesn’t have to ruin your day.
It just gives you the opportunity to give it a good cleaning.
It probably needs it anyway.