I have been stewing over this for quite some time and have come to some highlights, conclusions and solutions to this string of posts inspired of those who have held the cardboard signs pleading for help throughout my small world.
1. We are all in need of each others help, some more than others. Some are actually brave enough to ask.
2. We are blessed beyond measure and it’s our priveledge to be able to pass along that blessing to those who may benefit. If you can help, do so.
3. We are typically quick to judge but the real Judge is quick to extend mercy and grace. We need to always remember this unbelievable gift.
4. We need to adopt the love of Christ and and love others not excluding those we don’t typically feel comfortable around or associate with. “Rich white people are not the only people who need Christ!” –Matt Carter
5. There are ways to help those in need even if you do not have money to pass out to those who request it. Here is one example:
Last night, our community group was blessed with the opportunity to help serve dinner at the East Texas Rescue Mission. An organized mission to help those without food and a place to stay. This place is legit. Centered on mission and equipping men to learn and grow in Christ and get back on their feet again. This mission is supported by people who volunteer. Some help with maintanence, some with cleaning, teaching and food. Many churches and other organizations help and often those who stay at this mission do when no “outsiders” show up to lend a hand.
We arrived around 5:30 yesterday evening, was instructed on how our team could help distribute dinner and got to “work”. Some helped with drinks, some with spooning dinner and distributing side items, and some with cleaning. I was the hot food transporter. Within 1 hour all 95 men were served and dishes were clean and ready to go for the next day. 1 hour!
1 measly hour of our selfishly, overly-complexed life was set aside and was of value to those who cannot pay us back. It’s great to help serve food but the real mission here is to connect with hurting people. People who have experienced heart-ache, loss, bad decisions, loneliness, and despair just as you and I have. I am not as outgoing as some of the other guys in my group who were able to sit and chat with these men after the meal but hope to be more assertive in this regard one day soon.
When leaving the mission last night I told Traci that I actually felt kind of lame at how easy and effortless it was for us to help. I think my real disappointment was the feeling that there is so much more we can do for our fellow citizens. It’s a shame that we are so centered on ourselves that we don’t even begin to think of ways to consistently do things like this. Think about it. When was the last time we searched for a way to serve then followed through actually serving someone that we don’t know and can not pay us back? Even is we can not show up at a mission to help, we can point or even lend a ride to the brave cardboard holding brothers and sisters in distress to these types of missions.
I really believe that this was a valuable lesson for me and many from our group. One small step into something bigger. I am excited to see where it leads as God moves us in this direction of servanthood and am thankful for the opportunity to have a closing thought and attitude to this series. Sanctification is a word that I never really grasped as a child or even in my earlier years of adulthood. It does now.
“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!‘ – Jesus Christ (Matthew 25:40)