How do you explain Toronto? That is a hard question to answer. Toronto isn't a missions trip. We don't help people or build houses or feed the hungry. The best way to put it is that Toronto is a pilgrimage. As a group we walk and observe and talk. We follow the way that Jesus taught. Grey leads us by pulling us aside and sharing a parable and asking some provoking questions that lead to conversations. Questions aren't answered. Stances aren't taken. In fact, I tend to come back with more questions than I started with.
This was my second time going to Toronto. The first time my outlook on things like homosexuality and homelessness were rocked. Coming in for the second time I had a little more of an idea of what was going to happen but the Lord still taught me something new and refreshing.
I love the simplify of the gospel. I tend to over analyze it or make it too complicated. What Toronto does is bring me back to the basics of love. Love God and love others.
Serving others excites me but serving myself makes me cringe. I feel selfish and awkward thinking about learning to love myself. I thought long and hard about how maybe I can't serve others well until I learn to love and take care of myself first. This has been a reoccurring theme this summer for me and it is changing the way I view service.
I was reminded of the beauty of stories this trip. What if I viewed everyone I met as an individual with their own story? I think this would change the way I interacted with people and loved others.