Thursday, December 27, 2012

Homeless Handout

We decided to change up our Christmas traditions this year and I am SO glad we decided to do what we did! We decided to do a homeless handout the Saturday before Christmas. It's something I'd done with the youth group before, but my family wanted to join in this time. We told people we knew about it and ended up having a ton of donated items to hand out. We packed reusable Dillon's bags with a pair of socks, gloves, scarf, hat, water bottle, food and a Christmas card with McDonald's gift cards in each bag. We ended up with 15 bags and had some sweaters and blankets that people had donated.

Saturday morning started out not so great. Satan was trying to ruin our day and I totally let him for awhile. Brooke and I got grumpy with each other and each called my mom, who got grumpy too, so we weren't all that excited to have together time. Plus, I was a little more emotional due to certain monthly things that happen to ladies :) Anywho, I was over it and did NOT want to go, but my mom got everyone back to happy and Brooke and I apologized to each other and our group set out to visit the homeless. It ended up being mom, Brooke and Michael, me and Tommy, Brandon, Whitney and my best friend Hannah and her neice Callie. It was the perfect group of people!

I've found in that past that even though we start out trying to bless them, we end up getting blessed in SUCH a huge way! I was worried not many people would be out because it was cold, but we saw a ton of people. We just went to the library downtown and started asking the homeless if they needed anything. People were so grateful and excited to get the bags that we had. Towards the end, we had people that had heard about our handouts and were trying to find us to get one, but we were out. My brother decided to run to McDonald's to get some more gift cards, so we were standing on a street corner with a huge crowd of homeless people surrounding us, waiting for gift cards. I have to admit, it was intimidating at first, but it turned into a blessing once again.

Michael and I started talking to a guy named Mark. He started speaking to me about something that's been on my heart and mind a lot lately (which I'll blog about later). We had a 20 minute conversation about God and things to come and he said so many things that confirmed things I'd been hearing from God. It was amazing! At one point, he said that he wasn't one to usually talk about religion because he didn't want to offend anyone, but that he felt called to talk to me about all of this.

I realized in that moment, that I am TRULY a part of something SO much bigger!! God had used a homeless man on a day that I had not wanted to be out there and spoken to me through him. How amazing that He thinks enough of me to go through the trouble of arranging that meeting! It's overwhelming when you really think about how much God loves us and how little we deserve His love. I couldn't be happier that we ended up going, even though we seemed to have a lot of things trying to keep us from doing so.

I feel the need to share this because I think a lot of people have negative thoughts about the homeless. I hear a lot that they should go find work, help themselves out, quit begging for food and money...... and I understand where everyone is coming from. But Jesus didn't call us to help only those who try to help themselves. He said that "whatever you do unto the least of these, you do unto Me." It doesn't matter WHY they're homeless or WHY they need help. If you feel God's call on your life, you just do it! Easier said than done, I know and trust me, I'm preaching to myself as well. But I hope people remember this holiday season that God's love isn't partial to certain people and ours shouldn't be either.

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