If you follow my blog then you have been reading that God is changing me from the inside out. I want to share another story of what is he allowing me and my kids to do for his kingdom.
I have often tried to feed the homeless person on the corner if I could. You know if I had, time, money and the patience to wait in a drive-threw line. When I was successful at all of these and had a bag of food in my hands, my kids and I would drive by roll down the window and hand out the bag of food. That was about it for the interaction that would take place. I knew that we were supposed to be the hands and feet of Jesus but I was always a little scared to share his voice as well. So I didn’t.
2 weeks ago this changed. I was driving my kids to McDonalds on a Wed. night per our routine and there he was, a man on the corner with his two shopping carts and his dog. I pulled into the adjacent parking lot, turned to my kids and said, “I am going to lock the door, you stay here while I talk to this man and I will be right back.” As I got out of the car and waved the man started to walk towards me and we met half way. He was wearing a ratty old hat and his head was down as we spoke. I asked him if there was anything I could get him. His answer was simple, “prayers would be great”. Of course I told him that I could do that no problem but I would like to get him something tangible if needed. He then proceeding to say that he was hungry and would love some food. “A sandwhich from fire house subs please”, were the actual words that he spoke. I informed him that I would be happy to and that I would be back soon.
I got to McDonalds to meet my friend and take in my two kiddos who are 4 and 6. I explained the situation to my friend and asked if she and her daughter would like to go with us to pray for our new acquaintance. She said they had never done anything like it before but would love to join us. I ran to firehouse got a sandwich and a couple water bottles met my friend and the kids, hers included (she is also 6) and we walked to where the man was waiting on the corner. As we were walking the kids took off in a full sprint to run to the man they were so happy to be serving. They ran to him and gave him high fives, shook his hand and proceeded to tell him their names. Amy and I walked and watched in amazement. They had no fear. When we got to where they alll were we gave him his dinner, asked his name, and I prayed God’s mercies over him as we stood in a circle holding hands. This mans name was Richard and he loves kids.
Fast forward to last week, we again were headed to the same McDonalds for our weekly meeting. The kids asked fervently if I would look for Richard and so we did just that. Richard was nowhere to be found but instead there was a younger woman in his place. The kids said, “Mom, go ask that homeless if she is hungry!” So I did just that. She said that she needed a beanie and a new pair of gloves to keep her hands warm, and that dinner would be great. So again, I replayed the motions of the previous week except that JCPenney was my stop this time. I picked up the requested beanie and gloves as well as a cross & heart necklace. We were driving over to drop off her new things when the kids started screaming. “Roll down the windows, roll down the windows! It’s Richard, Richard is here!” I rolled down those windows as fast as I could and they shouted for him as loud as they could. Three kids in unison, “Richard! Hi Richard! We have been looking for you!” and reacted with the happiest, “Hi kids! How was your week?” They filled him in, we gave him some french fries, and Katie went on to tell him that we were going to feed a new homeless. He knew who we were talking about in let us know that her name was Brenda and that she is a great woman.
We got to where Brenda was waiting and got out of the car. Went to her side, and gave her dinner along with her new things. I handed her the necklace saying, “I think every woman deserves to feel beautiful and sometimes jewelry makes me feel beautiful so we wanted you to have this.” She was so appreciative. We again held hands and prayed with Brenda asking God to bless her and make sure she stays warm and fed.
The kids were so happy to have been able to help someone out again. My heart is filled with joy watching them love other people with no fear. My heart ached for the new friends we made, knowing that we may not see them again but the greatest part of the story is the time at home afterwards. We have been doing dinner time devotions, and it so happened that we were talking about being the salt and the light for Christ. Katie told her dad that she, Cal and I were being salt and light by feeding and praying with the homeless people. She continued by saying that she hopes this week ( which will be tonight) that we get to see Richard, Brenda and that God would send us a new homeless to help. My heart is exploding with joy!
I don’t share this so that you all can know the good that we think we are doing, but more so that you can see the difference that is happening in the life of these children and the people that we are reaching. When we allow God to take us out of our comfort zone and into part of the world that we don’t know or understand he changes not only the people we are touching but us as well. I don’t think that I will be able to pass a bag of fast food out the window again, I am going to have to stop, talk to, pray with and comfort the person I am serving. This may be something small and even something that isn’t necessarily helping the homeless get help in the long run (just food). Shelters would be a better place for the food, and other opportunities that exist in that system, but when we get to touch them, and speak into them, and to put a name to the face I believe that they are seeing Jesus in us and I know that I am seeing Jesus in them.
Matthew 25: 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’