Thursday, January 02, 2014

Here's The Thing

This morning was like any other except that it snowed. And snowed. And snowed. Routine, I bundled up in my coat and gloves, pj's underneath, to take out the trash. The snow service had been here at midnight last night, so I thought that at least I wouldn't be ankle deep in snow. That was true, but as I made my way out of the garage, the wind kicked up fierce. Snow was blowing everywhere and it was like 8 degrees with a windchill below zero. Let me tell you how fast I high-tailed it back into the house!

Right there, shaking off the cold and being grateful to lock my door against the harsh outdoors, is where I began to weep, because here's the thing.

Right at that very moment, somewhere, someone didn't have that luxury.

If you've known me for any length of time, you know that I've worked with the homeless for a good many years. Just like so many who serve God in this way, after a while you get tired. Sometimes it seems hopeless. Sometimes they don't listen. Sometimes there's just no way to make things better. You burn out. That's exactly what happened to me. I moved on to other areas of serving.

God has a way of bringing things full circle. A short time ago, someone very close to me found themselves in a homeless situation. So that I do not ever dishonor anyone, no details. The point is that you just never know.

Someone that I love deeply could call no place home. Sometimes they were cold. Often they were hungry. They couldn't just run outside and run back in to a place with heat pouring out of vents and hot coffee in the pot. Like I did this morning.

As I thought about all those people who may have been out there today, with no place to go on this horrifically cold January morning, my heart broke again. Just as He has been doing over the last few months, God continues the surgery to remove the stiff adhesion from my heart. He had to break me in a personal way, so that my heart could break with compassion for others.

Because now I know. I know that every last one out there in the cold is somebody. Not only are they a person dearly loved by God, but they are, each one, somebody's son or daughter. They are somebody's brother or sister. They are someone's mother, aunty, uncle or dear friend. They're not nameless. They have a name and a face and a heart and a family somewhere. And you know what? It doesn't matter why they're there. This isn't a social science experiment. These are people.

Just like I prayed that someone out there would see my loved one and help them, some one is praying that you would see their least of these, out in the cold, and do something to help.

God, please! Don't let us continue to walk by.  Help us to see! MAKE us see!

Oh, that someone would put a warm cup of coffee in their hands to warm them up. Oh, that someone would offer a McMuffin to go along with that coffee and make the hunger pains go away. Oh, that someone would point the way to a shelter with heat and a cup and a bowl and a listening ear or just a touch on a shoulder. Just a touch. As I prayed that for my loved one, I know that there is a momma or daddy or sister or brother praying that someone would help theirs. That YOU would help theirs.  

Let's stop looking for someone else to be the someone. I know it now. It breaks me now. The adhesion is gone. The raw is there. And isn't that just what Jesus wanted done in me? In you?

 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink?  Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
“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!’

Picture Credit: Unknown


  1. I traveled in snow for several hours today. A storm hit Ohio and West Virginia where we were driving through. Thanks for bringing this need to mind. On the news tonight, a local shelter raised a white flag to let all in need know that they could seek shelter there tonight. I didn't realize the white flag was used as a symbol in this way. Interesting.

  2. Donna, what a heart wrenching reminder..."they are all somebody"...."they're somebody's". May we put a cup of hot coffee or a warm meal into someone in need.

  3. Amen! This touched my heart so deeply. May we all meet the needs that we can meet for others. Today, and every day. Because for some, even a sweltering summer day can feel as cold as ice in the soul.

    Thank you so much for linking up with Recommendation Saturday, Donna! It is a pleasure to meet you!

    Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  4. This is a very timely reminder for us - we've been experiencing minus 50C wind chills over the past few days here and I know there are many who are in need right now.

  5. My snow-less city recently had 3 homeless men die from a cold snap, and it was like a wake up call. God calls us to help others. Thank you for your post. I'm your neighbor at Monday's Musings link-up.

  6. "And isn't that just what Jesus wanted done in me?"
    Yes, Just this Yes!
    Thanks for linking up with Inspire Me Monday!

  7. I work with the homeless some too, and it's so different for me now to hear of cold nights because I don't just think of "the homeless"--I see Matthew and Susan and Cowboy, etc. They're real people to me with faces and names.

    Yes! "God continues the surgery to remove the stiff adhesion from my heart."