Coming in a few days is The Torch's Carnival 4 a Cause. I was just thinking how, once again, we are doing something in an unexpected way. Typically, when one hears the word "carnival", images of a variety of sights and sounds associated with carnivals are invoked, and the costs of attending are mentally calculated. Our event title even makes it sound like a fundraiser, so one would expect to pay to participate.
But, we are The Torch. And The Torch's twist is usually different from the norm. The Carnival 4 a Cause event is - FREE! That's right. It's 100% free to anyone who stops by.
Why would we do that? - you might ask. I have a multi-faceted answer.
First of all, Sarah and I have been financially broke in our lives. We both know how it feels to be down to our last dollar. Let me tell you, being down to your last dollar makes you feel worthless and value-less. it shouldn't, but in this society, people's worth is often measured according to their financial status. If you have lots of finances, you have lots of worth; if you have little finances your worth is quite diminished. You often have to hide your poorness, too, because it can be very painful if people find out.
At the Torch, we are very aware of and sensitive to all that. We also believe everyone has value and worth. Everyone also has needs - some are financial, some are spiritual, and some, emotional. The emotional needs tend to be tied closely up in whether or not people have a sense of community, or belonging. All those different needs matter to Sarah and I when we are planning events for The Torch.
As we took inventory of the many products we had to distribute, we decided to come up with a fun way to pass them out. A carnival seemed to be the perfect event. Then it began to grow, and people got more excited. And we saw the potential for bringing our community together in a fun way. And making sure it would be equally accessible and comfortable for all people who equally matter.
There are a ton o f other caring people in our community who came together as partners with us - and, next thing we know - Carnival 4 a Cause is upon us!
I love thinking about providing families an opportunity to come out and have fun together and be able to leave with things they need. The idea that The Torch can offer a special event to do just that blesses and humbles me.
But there is a bigger picture before me - beyond the Carnival 4 a Cause. And that, beloved freinds, is what this event demonstrates about our community. If we can come together like this as a community to make this event happen - how much bigger is our potential impact on this community, this county, this state, this country and this world in the future?
I have been hearing people cry that the end is near - and I have to say, I just don't see it. I see a future and hope, just like God promises in the Bible. I see love and faith and joy and generosity and compassion coming together at The Torch through people of all shapes, sizes, and forms - and I see the tremendous potential for that to change the world.
This is an exciting and joy-filled time to be alive!!!