“I helped two people recently,” a homeless woman shared with me not long ago. Up against numerous health challenges, and despite an incredibly rough past, so much so that she needed my help to get her free hot lunch over to a park bench where she sat as she neared her next hospital visit later that day, the homeless woman shared with me about her belief in the Lord and told me joyfully how sharing her hard-to-hear testimony had touched two lives recently. And she related happily about her Bible studies and hope to get involved in ministry.
|A big-hearted pastor drives straight from preaching at his church on Sundays|
to preach in the park to the homeless, others in extreme need, volunteers, and passersby.
When he is not preaching, he is usually found picking up trash when lunch is served.
Another homeless man at an outreach I attend helps weekly with the physical setup for the food, clothing, and toiletries distribution, while another not-too-long-ago homeless man helps with security. Another homeless man told me recently he was praying for me. Another formerly homeless man preaches. Still other homeless men and women minister to me by asking how I am, listening to me share about my own life, and sharing hugs and friendship and love and kindness – sometimes more than I receive in my usual day to day life. Even in the midst of their hardships, the homeless and others in extreme need are sometimes the helpers despite the common belief that they are a segment of the population that is only on the receiving end of God’s provision as it is distributed by those who serve in one capacity or another. But then, we are ALL on the receiving end of God’s goodness, aren’t we? Anything good, and necessary, that we have comes from Him in the first place.
The Bible says God is no respecter of persons, and that we are not supposed to be either. We are not supposed to look down our noses at those in need, nor are we to judge others. But how often, if we are honest with ourselves, do we find ourselves doing just that? Sometimes it takes a little wake-up call to remember that we are called to be humble, not prideful, and grateful rather than taking for granted what we have. And sometimes that wake-up call comes in the form of realizing those we thought we are called to help end up being the ones to bless us instead. Or, most accurately, we find that we really are all in this together – all called to love one another, to serve one another, all as we love and serve the Creator of us all. The Lord.