Hey, it’s Anne-Marie. For the last few months I’ve been volunteering with Breakthrough Urban Ministries, an organization based in East Garfield Park that takes a Christ-centered and wholistic approach to working with the homeless and also provides a non-traditional food pantry for the neighborhood. Instead of handing out pre-bagged sacks of miscellaneous food items, Breakthrough’s food pantry is set up like a mini store where those who qualify (based on income and family size) can come and spend the credit allotted them by Breakthrough on the things that they want and think that they will use. This approach is very helpful – especially for single mothers wanting baby formula or diapers rather than 5 cans of creamed corn and 10 boxes of mac and cheese – but it requires more organization and effort from volunteers. I get just as much out of it as the people I’m helping – many I meet have lived their whole lives in E. Garfield (a neighborhood with crime stats surpassed in Chicago only by Fuller Park), and they regularly remind me that “A day above ground is better than one below!” During our prayer time a few weeks ago one man shared a praise that I found entirely unique. He said: “I’m praising the Lord this morning because after many years of running, my brother was finally arrested last week. I don’t know if any of you have ever been hiding from the police or anything else, but it’s a horrible way to live – always having to look over your shoulder for what might be coming after you. But he’s been caught now, and nothing worse can happen to him. And that brings me joy.” In reflecting on this I was reminded of the poem The Hound of Heaven,written by the Romantic poet Francis Thompson during his opium withdrawal, which describes the Lord’s untiring pursuit of us. I praise God that we’ve all been caught by Him, and that we can rest in our captivity with perfect peace – knowing that, indeed, nothing ‘worse’ can happen to us now!