Ingrid McIntyre is a busy woman. But she has no apologies. A few years after grad school at Wesley Theological Seminary, she found herself at a crossroads: stick with her 9-5 job, or respond to the need for emergency shelter for Nashville's displaced tent city population.
For the first time, when asked who she was, she didn't know what to say. She was no longer just the preacher's kid, a student, an employee of the church. She finally found herself in a position to make some decisions that some would call risky, but she would call love.
Ingrid continues to learn about the human spirit and how it unfolds. "I can't be who I'm called to be without someone else in the story. It's so much easier when we're in it together."
Recently, Anderson Cooper and CBS's 60 Minutes crew featured Ingrid and the work of Open Table Nashville, as they join a national campaign to house 100,000 individuals.
Ingrid's advice for those who want to make a difference: Be awkward for Jesus.
There are those in basic survival mode and all they care about is to be a whole person. They worry about where their meds will come from. Whether their kids will have food to eat. Where they will shower. What a privilege to walk along side those.
If their first instinct was to sit down and talk about what was the most realistic or reasonable, Open Table Nashville wouldn’t have happened.
So if you want to get involved, find a place you trust and hang out. "Become part of the tapestry of that place," Ingrid advises. If you find something that’s authentic and calls you, make time to be a part of their story. If you see a need that isn’t being addressed, ask why. Do something about it. Pray about it and quit listening to the naysayers.
Learn more about Open Table Nashville, here, and watch the 60 Minutes piece below.