#WhyWeShouldAllBeFeedingTheHungry

It literally haunts me at night, to think of anyone sleeping out in the street, cold, lonely, and hungry. It has bothered me since I was a child. I really don’t know why – I don’t remember any situation that connected me to that world. I have come to believe I feel this way because I am supposed to. It is my heavenly nudge to keep me speaking up about those who are as forgotten as they feel.

Were you ever really hungry? Think about it. Did you ever miss a meal? Too late for supper and it was gone? (that actually happened to me before.) I remember being first of all shocked that ALL the food was gone that I had prepared – haha – and then slightly annoyed, but I shook my head, laughed, and made a sandwich. Oh THIS does NOT happen out in the streets. If you are hungry, you will probably stay hungry. Period. And at this time of year when food seems at its height of abundance and at its peak of mouthwatering delight, there are people who will NOT have a Christmas dinner. Or dinner the day before Christmas, or dinner the day after Christmas.

Why should we feed the hungry? Well, if you believe in Jesus He told us to. He also said if we really wanted to know Him, we would find Him as we feed the hungry. If we offer a cup of cold water (or hot coffee) in HIS name, it is just as if you did it for HIM. It clearly matters SO much to Him, that we do this. We tend to think He would rather us be all religious and do something that seems …well, MORE important, or something that others need to see us do. No. Just no. We have it all backwards.

To represent love, God, humanity – we need to feed the hungry. We need to care for the widow and the orphan. We need to shield the bullied. We need to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. We need to take care of our Veterans of War. We need to be HUMAN. And  it starts with, feeding the hungry.

That is all I want to say. I could go on, sure. I’m a woman – of course I could go on. BUT please – just hear this simple plea – there is still a good solid week till Christmas. Go find someone who is  hungry and feed them. And then, stop a moment and feel the warm smile from heaven – if you want to be great, you must serve.

Please and thank you. And “God bless us, everyone.”hunger

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#OperationStarfish

As I consider the holiday season at hand and all the homeless  people I would like to take a Christmas tree, a bag of food, and a new sleeping bag to, I feel the weight of this thought process… Seriously THIS keeps me up at night – sure I can make a difference for one; I get that. But I want to help them all, and can’t.

What I CAN do (beyond the few that I can go help…) is to use my WORDS. I totally believe if every person reaches out to one other person, we could make a HUGE dent and THIS holiday season could be EPIC out in the streets!!! WHY NOT?

So, here is a list of possible ideas for those of you (like me) who don’t have a lot to work with this holiday season –  *Fill up a bag with personal items for a man or woman ~ easy. Dollar store. Soap. Toothbrush/toothbrush. Socks. Hairbrush. Bandaids. Candy. Paper. Pen. (yes Dollar Stores have just about every item anyone would like to have in a bag….be creative and fun too. Spend a mere 10.00 or more if you can. Don’t let an ‘amount’ be a reason NOT to. ) *Do you bake at the holidays? Bake an extra plate of cookies for someone; an extra pie; an extra few containers of food. *Depending on where you live, depends on IF you see homeless people – Baltimore, Atlanta, New York City, LA are all big cities where there are for sure LOTS of homeless people that are hungry and cold, and you straight up go right into the streets! In smaller towns there are soup kitchens, missions where you could donate some bags of food they could cook with – or homemade treats to distribute. *If in doubt, fill a bag with socks, neck scarfs, mittens…(again, at the Dollar Store). *Buy some hot cups of coffee or hot chocolate, and a box of donuts. *Make a pot of chili and take some bowls – serve out of your car.  *Get your church involved with you – (power of multiplication!) – youth group – your kids – your local stores – take advantage of the fact that we as humans ARE basically NICE. Sometimes we don’t do something, only because we don’t know WHAT to do. *Don’t forget those in need who are NOT homeless and just need a helping hand. Take a name off an angel tree. *If you LOVE to sing/ perform – well, here’s your sign! Go sing to people who will be your BEST and most appreciative audience. *Go Christmas caroling. (free.) – and X a million other ideas you probably will think of yourself.

Yes you will feel overwhelmed to see SO many needy people. YES you will feel like WHAT CAN I DO TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. YES you will realize you can’t save the world.starfish story  We just need to do our small part.

So, this holiday season of 2014 – reach out to one person in need; one ‘starfish’ on the great shoreline of life. I think I shall christen this ~ OPERATION STARFISH. 🙂

#50BlocksInSkidRowLA

I watched a documentary today about Skid Row, in LA – which is literally miles from me. Hour or more in traffic, but 20 miles in actual miles. I literally cried through the whole film. More like sobbed… some of the statements from people that struck me like arrows thru the heart were as follows – ” I am addicted to the downtown life, where no one judges no one.” ( A transgender.) “I take care of her because she is a human and she deserves that.” ( a man who follows around a little hunchbacked old woman who feeds the cats from a garbage filled grocery cart.) “I just live to love on other people, even though I am in constant pain.” (A woman with tumors on every inch of her body.) “I woke up one day and asked myself how did I get here? and that day I decided to take responsibility for my life.” ( a man who used to be an Olympics winner, who fell into drugs.) “These people are my family.” ( a young woman who lives on the street.) And on and on the stories – 50 blocks worth of stories. 50 blocks in Skid Row.

A place of danger, and yet a place where people will share their only sandwich with you. I will never ever get over feeling heartbroken for the people wandering the streets (mentally ill, veterans of war, broken sons and daughters), the lost young person who can’t or won’t go home – every person who lives in those 50 blocks has a story. There is NO call for us to judge whether any these people deserve to be there – does anyone deserve to be broken? They are part of our family; the family of humanity. Most of them don’t know any other life than the streets, and would not leave if they could. Sadly this is true. The street is their home. The sidewalk is their bed. The other homeless people are their family. This is Skid Row in LA; one block over from wealth! There are just a few tall buildings separating the poor from the rich. Ironically, a broken heart looks the same whether in a rich person or a poor person…and ANYONE can become broken.

I don’t have any way to help them all. I don’t have a great elaborate plan to save them or to rescue them. Some don’t even want saved or rescued. Some absolutely DO. All I know is Jesus DID say to go into the highways and the byways. He just said to GO. I guess He hoped we would figure out what to do when we got there…..

I am thinking it would look a lot like what He said – (Matthew 25:35) “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.…” Jesus basically identified Himself with the homeless population in this verse. He thought THIS mattered most.

What can one person do? Reach out to one person. Gee, there are millions of people around – so you do the math. A million people each helping ONE person, means a million people would – get a cup of coffee, get a fresh clean blanket or sleeping bag, get a bag full of useful items such as soap/toothbrush/nail file etc.), get a wrapped Christmas gift, get a warm meal, get a case of water, and on and on and on….donate to their Mission down there by dropping off some bags of chicken or bake a few dozen cookies (or have your whole church bake cookies)…..the possibilities are endless.

What IF the people of Skid Row REALLY believed that they mattered and that someone cared enough to SHOW them that they matter? EVERY HUMAN BEING IS VALUABLE. Get involved with the homeless of YOUR city – find a church group that has an outreach or start your own – serve chili and rolls from the back of your car –  Drag a christmas tree and set it up by someone sleeping on a curb – cover a few people in new sleeping bags….we can’t change the whole world in the blink of an eye, but we CAN change one life at a time. I say, let’s aim for a cool million! A million to reach a million….why NOT????!!!!!!

#SomewhereOutThereIsSomeonesChildMotherFatherSisteBrotherFriendChildOfGod

#TheHolidaysAreComing

This is a section of Skid Row....50 blocks is the whole perimeter...:(

This is a section of Skid Row….50 blocks is the whole perimeter…:(