Monday, December 5, 2011

Homeless for Christmas?

I've seen this image posted and reposted on facebook for a few weeks now... it tugs at my heart. It makes me sick to my stomach... And when I really examine myself, it brings tears to my eyes...

We are a nation of excess... despite these hard times we're in, which are the hardest my generation has ever faced, the restaurant parking lots are full, the Toy R Us lines are long, and the Christmas wish lists are even longer.

Many of us are scaling things back this year out of necessity. Everything is just more expensive this year! {anyone else notice the 20%+ hike in groceries?!?!} But there are many families in my own little world who aren't just struggling, but seriously hurting. Not just living on a tight budget, but living on nothing.

Every year we do something charitable at Christmas. In years past, we take the kids shopping to pick out a toy for the Toy for Tots campaign. It's been a good lesson for our kids. They want it, but they learn the joy of sacrifice. But this year I had to ask myself, what do hurting families really need? How can I do something that will teach them to fish, instead of just handing out fish?

Both acts of charity are necessary! You can't teach someone to fish on an empty stomach! But in the long run, what can I do that will impact another family and put them back on the road to self reliance.

I've been very blessed! In more ways than I can count! My husband and children are all safe and healthy! We have a roof over our heads and food in our cupboards. We have the love and support of extended family. And a faith that will take us through any storm!

What kind of person am I, if I take what I've been given, and bury it in the ground? Like the servants and the talents from the parable Jesus told.

{Matthew 25:14} 2 servants were smart and invested what was given to them. They were able to give back the Master more than was given to them. The 3rd servant, wasn't a total fool. He didn't gamble his talent away. He didn't want to loose it, so he buried it. Left it. And waited for the Master to return...

I'm no fool either {at least not usually after a cup of coffee}. I know better than to take what I've been given and waste it completely. But I do really identify with the servant who buried the talent. If he was able to make it grow, then he could have given the Master something more to use to bring about good things for others. If I'm able to take what God has given me {my talents, abilities, treasures, and time) and invest in others, I can do something that will really help someone who's in need...

Last week, my husband found a video on Youtube about homeless families in Florida, a place that's been one of the hardest hit in this recession. It really hit home... seeing good, hard working, families with nothing... just trying to make it to another day.

It pierced my heart.
How could I spend $100 just to fill the stockings of my 5 kids, when $100 could feed another family for a week!

So there's my heart... It's been weighing on me all weekend. I've been praying and asking the Lord, what He wants me to do. What He wants us to do!

After watching that youtube video, my husband had this wonderful crazy idea about spending the night in our car, to bring awareness to the difficulties of the homeless in our area. I'm putting all this in God's hands and asking him how he wants me to invest myself.

Maybe it is something as simple as giving a toy, He could somehow, use that small gift to affect a huge change in someones life.


Maybe He's calling me to something that would require a much more difficult outpouring of myself...

Either way, I can't wrap my heart around a bunch of stuff this year...

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the reality check! I've struggled with much of what you described above. I know God will speak to your heart! You just have to be ready when he does!