We talk about doing hard things. We talk about putting our faith in action. We talk about “going into all the world” and evangelizing others. We talk a good talk. But we seldom put anything into practice.
Which is why when friends asked us to go with them to help feed those who are homeless in our society, we said no. The next month came, and we still made excuses. We were too busy. We had too many little ones. It wasn’t a nice part of town.
But this month when they asked, we agreed to go. Yesterday morning found our whole family, the oldest to the youngest, in a park in a questionable part of town. We weren’t sure what to expect. And while not really expecting anything, it was different than I ever thought it would be.
To see the consequences of forsaking the Lord and His commandments in such an up close and personal way was sobering. To realize and see the teeming mass of humanity who many avoid, because they deem it “not safe” was eye opening.
To see the many children was heartbreaking. They didn’t ask for this. They did nothing to deserve this way of life. They are growing up with drug-addicted parents, alcoholics, parents who don’t care enough to provide, or who can’t provide, and they are growing up and seeing all this, and in their little minds, it is normal. Little faces streaked with dirt, wearing blank stares. Or little ones piling up food, because it’s there and they don’t know where another meal will come from. Or the little ones who’s parents just don’t care, and walk away, while they toddle through the crowd trying to catch up with them.
Most heartbreaking was when I asked a mother holding a baby how old he was. He was precious. Cute as a button. “I don’t know.” she replied. I told her he was precious, and she responded in a startling way: “I haven’t noticed. I didn’t even want him. That ones not even a year yet.” as she pointed to another child. She had five children, each young and precious, and the oldest wasn’t any older than six, maybe. The one she was holding was maybe two weeks. Maybe.
Most heart rending of all was hearing the excuse for the gospel that was being shared. “Jesus loves you!” they proclaimed, and it was sad. Because that’s all they said. I can almost imagine them, their thoughts. “Who is this Jesus?” “Why does he love me?” “If he really loved me, why am I in this mess?”
Nothing was said about the Saviour who died for their sins — all of them, even the ones that caused homelessness and addictions and unwanted babies.
Nothing was said about them being sinners, and them needing a Saviour to make them right before the righteous judge.
Nothing was said at all of sin and it’s consequences and a just God who has to bring us to the end of ourselves — even if that means homelessness — in order to bring us to Himself.
Nothing at all was said of Jesus dying on the cross for their souls.
They recieved physical nourishment., heard a couple of songs, and left. All that they know is that the Jesus people feed them. But they still have just as many unanswered questions.
And you know what?
I am equally guilty because I didn’t open my mouth once. I hid behind the fact that I was a girl, and would rather be serving than talking to strangers. Because it’s uncomfortable. It’s hard. It’s difficult to walk up to some random person and just start talking to them. It’s downright scary at times. But God did not call us to a life of comfort.
I know everyone has different callings in this life. I know that everyone has been gifted with different things. I know I am not gifted in talking with others . . . I am more gifted in serving. Helping Momma’s who have their hands full of children and plates. Talking with the children who came through the line. I know that the man we were with is gifted in talking to others, and he is comfortable doing so.
I am glad the whole family went. This man took some of our littles and walked with them, talking to people, and it was good for them to see that and hear that and have that example of how to evangelize. The other ones had the opportunity to watch and see the consequences of sin; to realize that though we as a family don’t have an overabundance of things, we are more than rich in what matters. Parents who love each other and their children, a family who works together, reasons to smile. We have stability, and have been taught of Jesus Christ, and we have love and laughter and joy.
I’m more comfortable behind the scenes, introducing myself to strangers and helping serve others. And observing.
I am a 23 year old young lady who is redeemed and saved from my sin only by the grace of God. A bibliophile at heart with a love of history who desires to see the Word of God practically applied to all aspects of our daily lives -- in our homes, in the grocery store, in the political realm. I strive to put my jumbled, chaotic thoughts down onto paper -- reducing them into black and white rows, letters, sentences. Into some semblance of sanity. And I share them here with all of you, where I can challenge you, make you think, and cause you to ask questions. I am the oldest of eleven children living the country life in the deep south.