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!’
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