I admit, I am a softy when it comes to this next challenge. Honestly, it is probably the easiest challenge I will give, yet I think it may be the most impactful one if you are trying to teach your children to live out their live according to Christ. I am talking about feeding the poor.
But---- not in the traditional way where you go down to a local soup kitchen or help make up food baskets for your church to hand out during the holidays. I am talking about something much more personal and inconveniencing.
Are you up for the challenge?
The Lord's word says this.......
There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward those of your people who are poor and needy in your land.
Deuteronomy 15:11 (Today's New International Version)
I am poor and needy,
but, LORD God,
you care about me,
and you come to my rescue.
Please hurry and help.
Psalm 40:17 (Contemporary English Version)
Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.
Isaiah 58:7 (New Living Translation)
I encourage you to as you are driving around either running errands, or driving to the mall, or leaving Wal-Mart, or coming back from a wonderful meal eaten in restaurant with your family, to be on the look out for a homeless person holding a sign. Or it might be someone pushing a grocery cart full of their belongings down the road. Or it might be a dirty, worn out looking woman hanging out around a motel. The point is to find someone who is tired, who is thirsty, and who is hungry.
The first time I turned around and did a U-turn so that I could go through a McDonald's drive thru to get a homeless person sitting at an intersection a drink and a hamburger, my kids thought I was a little nuts. But as they saw the man accept the food and the spare change that I had in my console, they knew it was the right thing to do.
Ever since, it has become a tradition to help these people in need without judging whether or not they even need it in the first place. When we were in between trips during our first adoption, I was driving home from downtown Fresno after apostilling a bunch of documents and noticed 2 or 3 homeless people sleeping under a freeway pass. For some reason, I felt the overwhelming urge to go home and cook up scrambled eggs, fried potatoes and toast so that I could drive all the way back to feed those people. I also took them some bottled water, toiletries, and an old pillow.
I do not give myself any credit---- it truly was all His doing, but it was I that was blessed. I share this not to brag because when you look at the big picture, I did not do very much at all, but by following what I felt God called me to do and being able to now share about it now, I think God can accomplish way more--- now, through all of you.
So this weekend, I dare you to go out of your comfort zone and pay attention to the rugged and broken man sitting on the street corner holding a homeless sign and bless him with a hot meal. I can already picture it--- you holding up the traffic behind you in the turn lane so that you can roll down the window and hand the man a bag of fresh hot food. That would be awesome!
I do warn you however-- if your kids are with you, and you take the time to explain what you are doing and why, they will want to do this all the time, and all of a sudden you will see many more people in need than you ever have before.