Chris and I have had the wonderful blessing of a child free evening. And we have two more ahead of us. Wooohooo! So what’s the first thing I did? I napped. And then I woke up,ate dinner & we went to see a movie. Thanks Mom!!
We saw the movie Snow White and the Huntsman. No spoiler alerts, promise. It was so much better than I expected it to be. I enjoyed each of the characters and thought the acting was superb. The movie was about a princess who lived her short life locked away by an evil queen. Eventually she escapes into the forest. At one point, a person travelling with her, who happens to be blind, says “she is life and I will follow her wherever she goes”. That was when Chris and I began to pay attention more closely because we saw Christ in that. Several things happened. She saw everyone as equals even though she is above them. She calls them Brothers at one point. She sees them as equal and she lowers herself and stays among them. Everyone that’s around her is brought to life. She doesn’t just help her people, she fights for them.
Something interesting happened to me yesterday. I went to help a local church “ministry” with a weekly homeless feeding. I got there very early and so I got to talking with some of the met who had called this park home. A new man was there who I had never seen or met before. He came right up to me and began to ask questions, aggressively. He wanted to know if I was “with” the church that comes to feed. I said no, I am not a member at that church. He asked how I heard about the feeding. I mentioned the name of the lady who puts the whole thing together and that I had become friendly with her. He began to say the most awful things about her. I objected as much as I could, but it was hard to get a word in edgewise. I realized pretty quickly that this was not a conversation I wanted to be a part of so I loved this man as best as I could without agreeing with him. I learned tolerance in a whole new way yesterday.
As I went through the feeding line and served these people I could see the embarrassment in their eyes. I could hear the humbleness in their voices and over and over again they said quietly, yes, ma’am, thank you ma’am. A lot of them keep their heads low. Some of them asked for an extra banana and I overheard the young, well dressed, girl from the local church tell them no. Even when one man said his woman couldn’t get up to get into line, the answer was no.
This was a very different response, from the same group of people, as when some of my fellow Brothers and Sisters go hang out with them at the park. When my friends spend a weekend night sitting and talking with these people, they become friends with us. They are our equals. I light up when I see certain people and they light up when they see me. I have now seen the difference between doing something called works, and Christ loving others through us. I have seen the difference in the response from these homeless Brothers and Sisters.
Chris and I wondered when the last time these men got to serve themselves was. When was the last time they got to take 2 scoops of mashed potatoes instead of one, because they really like mashed potatoes? Wouldn’t it be great to show up with a feast and leave it on the tables for them to serve themselves. I know these men. They look out for each other. They make sure the older, weaker ones are okay by bringing them food and drink. They make sure the younger ones aren’t overdosed by checking on them and waking them from a drug indused nod. What if we just brought trays of lasagna, rice and chicken, and mashed potatoes and layed it on the table for them? What if we trust them to serve themselves? That’s what we do at our church dinners. I wonder how it would go if we did it at the homeless park. If you are reading this blog and know me, and are able to do this in Gainesville Florida in the coming weeks, leave a reply and maybe we can prepare a feast and see how it goes.
What I’ve learned so far in my life is that Christ is my Savior, in every single way. I’ve learned that when I become proud or hold myself higher than anyone, whether homeless, or people that have had lives with no abuse, attacks, or neglect, when I hold myself up… I am contrary to Christ. One of my favorite authors said one time that the best thing someone could say about you would be… “She’s a Christian? I didn’t know that, but it doesn’t surprize me.”
I am so thankful for the Lord in everything, He makes it so that I can love without constantly having to preach Him, or serve from a Christian status, or even tell others who I am. He will reveal Himself to whomever He wishes. He will love everyone. He will serve instead of do nothing. He will make Himself at home among the most unlikely of us. We have no idea what the heart of another looks like. I love that the homeless men and women at the park don’t know me as part of a ministry group, but as a friend that comes to visit. I love that they laugh and joke and even turn down my home made bread sometimes. It let’s me know that it’s not really me doing anything, but Christ within doing all of it.
Thank you for reading, have a great week!!