#HerNameIsRoxanneAndHerHomeIsTheStreet

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.

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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.

‪#‎YouCantMakeThisStuffUp ‬ ‪#‎TakeJesusToTheStreets‬ ‪#‎TheStreetsAreFullOfAngelsUnaware‬

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#IfItWasYou

 

 A few weeks ago we went with some people to serve hot food, and give out blankets to homeless people. All I can say is, it felt like a drop in a bucket. I cannot shake it from my mind, nor do I want to. I don’t want to forget.

One older man in a wheelchair couldn’t get to the food line; he was off to the side of the street. When someone went to get him food, and asked him his name , he paused…and sadly said…”I don’t know. No one has asked me that for such a long time.” No, I don’t want to forget.

Another lady whom someone hugged, was overcome with emotion as she tearfully said how she couldn’t remember the last time anyone hugged her. No, I don’t want to forget.

On a different day, when I was going on a fun road trip with a friend, a cardboard sign caught my eye that said – Help me. My heart was moved by the sad look on the young man’s face holding the sign. We turned around and brought him hot food. We parked the car, and walked up to him, which sadly scared him. He turned abruptly to us with an anxious look and said “Am I in trouble?” It was so sad to hear his story of being a homeless veteran of war, with many physical and mental issues. No. I don’t want to forget.

. I want to care for each and every person I see, who is standing on the side of the road holding a sign that says Hungry. Or Help me. Or Homeless. I have heard people say that you can’t tell who really needs help, and some people don’t deserve help. WHAT????? Since when is helping someone contingent on whether or not they deserve it. We ALL could be the man who can’t remember his name, or the lady who never gets hugged, or the desperate single mom with 3 young girls who has no home, or the man standing in the snow hoping for a hot cup of coffee.

Image Please join me in reaching out to the forgotten, the broken, the hopeless, the ones who feel invisible, who are cold, and hungry . One cup of coffee at a time. One hug at a time. One blanket at a time. One encouraging word at a time. One smile at a time. And, IF you are able to do more, feel free. We all can do something, whether small or large…it WILL matter to someone. No, you may not be able to change the world, but you CAN change ONE life.

I want to see their faces in every stranger I pass today, and every day thereafter. No, I don’t want to forget.

 

 

 

 

#HopeIsTheBestGiftOfAll

Contrary to what we would like to believe, not everyone likes Christmas. Not that everyone doesn’t like the elements of the holiday…the gifts, the cookies, the music…etc. The deepest intricate meaning of Christmas is HOPE. And unfortunately, a lot of people are just plum out of hope. Enter ‘oh humbug’ feelings. It’s easy to shrug off and ignore those who are not enjoying the wonder of the season like you. Think Elf – there are those of us (clearing throat….) who truly LOVE Christmas, and would sing at the top of our lungs in the subway (if we lived near one..), and smile till our face hurt. I want to be very sensitive though, to those who simply are – sad. We recently went to an inner city and passed out hot soup and blankets to homeless people. Today I am baking cookies for them. Obviously not all of them, though I wish I could. I want to live out what I think HOPE looks like. It’s easy to talk, give someone a speech or a glib cliche’, but what mankind needs most this Christmas season is to SEE what HOPE looks like. I believe it should look a lot like LOVE.  ImageIf you get a hug (after years of NOT getting one) -that looks like HOPE. If someone asks you your name (after so many years, that you really have to stop and think what it is)- that looks like HOPE. If a stranger offers you a large cup of peppermint hot chocolate (for no reason)- that looks like HOPE. If  you wonder how you are going to buy your child a present (and someone who picked their name off an Angel tree gets that child EXACTLY what they wanted)- that looks like HOPE. If you are lying alone in the dark, in a nursing home (and a stranger appears at your door to sing a song you have long forgotten) – that looks like HOPE. What can we each do to live out the true message of Christmas; that light has shined in the darkness, that music has silenced the fear, that love has given us all a reason to get up, and try, one more time.

#GoBeHopeToSomeone