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.”
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. 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. 🙂
I wasn’t going to share this, but feel I should. Maybe for no other reason than for us all to realize the homeless man or woman or child in the street, has a name.
Her name is Roxanne. She lives in the streets of Hollywood; she sleeps under signs that advertise the next great movie coming out. She sometimes sleeps in the parking lot of a beautiful cathedral church. Where we (me and Aida) found her, was an alley. She may not be able to walk well, or stand long – I don’t know. Whenever we have seen her, she is laying flat out on the sidewalk. You can’t meet someone like Roxanne without being changed. She had a little section of the alley lined with her own trash – broken objects, bags of garbage, cups, plastic forks – that kind of stuff. She was laying on a filthy blanket that she had laid out to look like a bed. On the top of her organized trash, was a vase with plastic flowers in it. It still makes me cry – she was trying to create herself a home!
I was so honored to talk to her – we talked about God, how He knew exactly where she was….as I was telling her that He cared about her, and wondering what those words might mean to someone down in the drudges of the filth of life, I remembered I had brought her a blanket. I am telling you this because, we all need to understand that God DOES care – I ran to the car to get it. A red and black blanket with my own personal history coming with it. God told me THIS had to be the one I brought to her. It was that gentle pull at your heart that says THIS is what you have to do. I took it over to her, and told her the truth – God told me to give this to you. She gave a little gasp, and said – Oh, I saw this blanket in a movie once (she told me the movie and all about it) – the lady had this blanket/shawl and I really wanted one. It was red and black. I had no words. I just said, well do you see what is happening here? God wants you to know He hasn’t forgotten you. She held my hand, still there laying on the ground, surrounded by garbage. But she had a warm Easter dinner, a blanket only God knew she wanted, and the love of God shining on her dirty face. To me, she was the most beautiful person I had ever met. Roxanne. My new sister in Christ, on Easter 2014. In a back alley in Hollywood.