MESSY HANDS & HOPEFUL SOULS
This post is brought to you by one of our beautiful volunteers. I hope her words touch you like they have touched us.
Up go the trusty folding tables, and out roll the scrub-saving table top covers. Fork-sliced bananas are cut to imperfection, and the grills are ignited just like a musician fine-tuning her guitar. A fresh bag is torn open, and out puffs a cloud of soon-to-be rounds of golden goodness. With a mighty lift and careful tilt, in goes a heap of this cloud, mixed in with some water that can only be measured by the stirrer’s intuition (and continuous whisking). After being slowly poured into a pitcher whose opening is only a third of the bowl’s circumference, the grillers brace themselves for two hours of skillful pancake-flipping. The bubbles rise, the crust forms, the metal spatula wedges its way beneath the hot cake and—flip. Pancake Peeps is open for business.
Much like many other Saturdays on K and 14th, dozens of people in downtown San Diego gathered with us to share a space together not only to eat pancakes, but also to discuss life and create music. It’s quite incredible, that word “share”. For the past few Saturdays, it has been amazing to witness specific ways Pancake Peeps creates a space for seemingly different worlds to share life for a brief moment. Rather than just hauling in equipment, passing out food, and leaving the folks to eat their food alone, the pancake “makers” and pancake “feasters” join together and become the Pancake Peeps. Whether it be handing out coffee together, mixing batter together, or creating music together (more like getting schooled—sorry to say it, Luke!), it’s beautiful to tangibly see gaps being bridged and relationships being built.
After reflecting on a difficult past few weeks of natural disasters, human-inflicted tragedies, and numerous acts of injustice both nation and world-wide, it’s easy to lose hope in our ability to look beyond our racial, cultural, economic, political, social, and religious differences and move toward genuine reconciliation. However, Saturdays with Pancake Peeps has helped to restore that hope, serving as an example of what God-reconciled relationships can look like. Somehow there’s this understanding that no one of us is greater than the other, and that ultimately we need one another. Working messy hand-in-messy hand demonstrates the sense of unity that each human being on our block desires for the rest of our broken, messy world. It’s through this nurturing and commitment that true transformation can occur and influence our surrounding society. In Mending the Divides, the Global Immersion Project founders write, “As everyday peacemakers who have been reconciled to God, we must be reconciled ourselves. Our lives must demonstrate dependence on God and one another. It’s here that we will find our strength, identity, and fuel to live as those united for God’s mission of restoration,” (46). It’s this very act of unity that incarnates God’s saving love for each one of us. Jesus prayed that we may all be one, just as Him and the Father are one (John 17:11).
It’s easy to get caught up in our own worlds of obligations and checklists, and it’s certainly difficult to put aside our individual needs for the sake of another. However, Christ’s challenge for us is to choose the narrow path, get our hands messy, and trust in Him. In doing so, we learn the stories of people like Charles, Agnes, Gramps, Martin, Brooklyn, and so many others. It’s through sharing life together that we see that truly, we’re not alone. Though the journey may sound a bit different, we are all needing the same thing: God’s love.
Thanks so much for walking with us on our pancake adventures! Please continue to pray for transformation and reconciliation as we seek to grow deeper in faith and hope in God’s promises.