I guess I had to be in middle school at the time. My parents had just recently had a transformation. God changed them into totally new people. A life of drugs and partying into a life of full service to Him. They ran a food pantry in our local church. Us kids were able to go with mom many times to deliver food. At that time I had never really been around someone that I considered poor. So one day we were going to deliver food to a family. It was winter time and there was snow on the ground. It was cold out. We went to the house and there was a single mom with 6 kids. They invited us into their home. They were thankful for what little food we had brought to them. As I was looking around several of the kids just had on a T-shirt and underware. No pants and it was cold. I wondered why the mom did not put clothes on them. Did she not care they were cold? But everyone seemed so happy. All we were to do was to go and deliver the food to this family. But mom wanted to do more. This is what she said to the mother. I see you have alot of work here. So many kids to love on and look after. I just have three and it is hard for me at times. The mom said that yes it was difficult at times to get up with everything but the kids were her life and she loved them so much. My mom said, God just recently blessed us with a washing machine. Would it be okay if I returned tomorrow and pick up some clothes to wash for you. The mother said she that would be great. She did not have a car and could not make it to the laundry mat to wash all the clothing for the kids. The were trying to keep as many clothes as possible clean for school. Mom sang all the way home and was happy. She was thanking Jesus for saving her and giving her a NEW life. The next day she returned to the families house. She brought 10 huge trash bags of clothes home. It took us all several days to wash, dry and fold all the clothes. She went out and bought laundry baskets to organize the clothes in. She took the clothes back to the family. They visited and talked for awhile. Mom invited them to church. This began another ministry for our family. We had a suburban. Mom and dad would drop us off at church early and then began picking up people to bring to church. This grew into a church bus ministry. We still know this original family and keep in contact with them. It is easy at times to just do what your are supposed to do, right? Give in the special offering, give to missions, tell people hello. But it is harder to step out and do sometime extra.
I am thinking of this today and my mom. We have so many visitors that come through our place. There are some that complain and tell us everything that “they” think we do wrong. They are some that encourage us. They are some that do not even leave the house. There are some that hold the kids and love on them. There are some that are scared to do anything. There are some that cry, they are some that get mad. There are some that get in there and help out. There are some that say things that are not nice. There are some that say nice things. So many different thing. It is rare that someone comes and see a need and just fills it. That is sad to me. I have heard, “Why are there so many flies here” My mom taught me to find a solution for the flies and offer it to them instead of complaining about a problem that they already know is there. I have heard, “Why don’t you paint the walls in here? Brighten things up a bit?” My mom taught me to go buy the paint and paint the walls. I have heard, That kid has a dirty diaper? ” My mom taught me to go get a clean diaper and change them. I have heard “It is so sad that you do not have any toys for the kids” My mom taught me to go and buy toys and give them to the kids. Sometimes we need to change our thinking a bit. The lady above knew that she did not have many clean clothes for her kids. She really did not need someone to point that out to her. She needed help! Hello! 6 kids, winter, no car, she just needed someone to give her a hand and help out. Sometimes life is like that. You find yourself in a place that you are blessed in some way. Maybe it is a car, maybe it is $5 extra you have, maybe it is a load of toys that you really do not need, maybe it is a few hours of free time. I encourage all of you to step out and just do something. Anything to help someone in need, to thank our heavenly father that HE is there for us each day.
1 John 2:15-17 (The Message)
15-17Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.