Our car, affectionately dubbed “The Dude” after our nonprofit’s icon, has quite a story. An enraged woman keyed its driver’s side, stem to stern. For months I drove the car, sickened by the violence pressed into it, praying for direction. I didn’t want to hide the scar—I wanted to transform it. In the end, the gash became part of a living tree from which dudes, created and named by our spacious folks, blossomed. I even took the art up onto the car’s roof, painting a dude cloud formation. More spacious folks joined the fun, creating personalized dudes to sail among those clouds.
“The Dude” has been, for years, integral to our nonprofit’s ministry: trunk crammed full of supplies to inspire creative expression; wheels traversing the miles from our place to the places we serve; interior transporting children, safely buckled, to clubs and camps.
I got rear-ended last week. And, due to The Dude’s advanced years, he’s history. Just like that.
For me, the wreck and the unexpected costs it incurred just piled onto months and months of hardship and loss.
And right at the beginning of Advent.
I share this story, because, sooner or later, we all get piled on. Overwhelmed by hard times and their attendant emotions, we cry with the psalmist, “How long?”
For me, faith isn’t reconstructing reality to match a smaltzy Christmas movie (but don’t we love those?). Faith is choosing God no matter what life throws my way. Driving around in a rental, a snatch of the carol, “O Holy Night,” struck me: “…till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.”
Those lyrics describe what Advent anticipates. They also reminded me why we do what we do at A Spacious Place: through creative expression, we help souls know their worth.
A Spacious Place moves forward with deep gratitude to The Dude. I won’t paint our new car—at least not at first. There needs to be a reason. But she—I’ve a feeling this one’s a dame—needs to be blessed. In this season of hope and expectancy, will you join me in blessing The Dame with best hopes for her years of service?
Whatever life is for you this holiday season—Wondrous, Even-Keeled, or Hard Timed—I hope you will come to know your soul’s worth.
Thank you for your service, Dude. We love you and we’ll miss you. So much.