If you were attending an event in a room full of people and tables and food, and the electricity suddenly went out, what would you do?

Would you ever think of pulling up the light app on your cell phone, placing your cell phone light underneath a water bottle and … voila! … basking by the unique glow of an “instant”, “hybrid” cell-phone-light-water-bottle-lantern?

Now imagine walking into a darkened sanctuary-turned-ballroom, filled with tables and people and food … and these 21st century lanterns glowing at each table …

That was exactly the scene yesterday at Mobtown Ballroom (https://mobtownballroom.com/) on Washington Boulevard in Pigtown, where Jayna Powell, Volunteer Coordinator at Paul’s Place (https://paulsplaceoutreach.org/ ), greeted and thanked a host of people who have volunteered and served at Paul’s Place this past year, making casseroles, serving hot lunches, working in the Market Place, helping someone find just the right outfit for a job interview, teaching another how to play chess, showing yet another how to create a resume using Word …. The opportunities to serve and be engaged at Paul’s Place are endless. The spirit is the same: to care for and treat one another with the same dignity and respect that you, yourself, would like to be treated.

As people feasted by lantern-light on lunch, which included fresh salads made by Paul’s Place “Kids in the Kitchen”, Jayna told the story of a woman, “Cheryl”, who someone from Paul’s Place had bumped into the other day. This person happened to notice the boots that Cheryl was wearing. As it turns out, Cheryl had actually been given these boots 3 years ago from someone at Paul’s Place, boots that in turn had been donated to Paul’s Place through Redeemer’s own Boots for Baltimore ministry. 3 years ago, Cheryl had just been released from jail and had no place to go. “Go to Paul’s Place”, she was told. She did, and there she received boots, clothes, warm meals, guidance, support, direction. There she was met with dignity and respect. There she felt hope. Today, Cheryl is employed with a steady job and still wearing her boots around Baltimore. As Jayna finished telling Cheryl’s story, the electricity and lights came back on.

There is power in light. There is power in caring. There is power in hope.

Believe it. Live it. And spread it around!