When I was a little girl I remember my dad always seemed to have some spare change for those in need. We grew up in what would be considered a poor neighborhood. We lived pay cheque to pay often not having money for anything non-essential. One day I asked my dad why he gave money to the homeless when they were just going to use it to buy alcohol. His response is still fresh in my mind to this day. He said “It is not for us to judge what they will use the money for. If we can help we should.”
Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in their own time of need. Proverbs 21:13 (NLT)
One year we didn’t have money to celebrate Christmas with a big dinner and gifts. As a child this was hard for me as all my friends were talking about the gifts under their trees and how they were going to be having a Christmas meal. One evening we heard a knock at the door and to our surprise there were 2 people with large boxes of food and gifts to give us a Merry Christmas.
If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord—and he will repay you!
Proverbs 19:17New Living Translation (NLT)
As I grew up and entered the working world I received a job that provided many great opportunities for me. Not only was this my dream job but it was close to home allowing me to walk to the office. It was a bit of a longer walk so I used the time to pray. While praying I began to notice the people around me. There seemed to be a fair bit of homeless people in the downtown area where I worked.
Each day when I walked by those in need I would feel a stirring in my heart to stop, but sadly I did not. I saw them but kept on walking by day after day. God was telling my heart to pay attention to His children but I would tell myself and God I was too busy. I had somehow lost the lessons of my childhood that taught me the importance of showing kindness to others. But, God being God didn’t give up on me. Scripture says (NASB) “and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? James 2:16
As I grew in my faith I could no longer ignore the needs right before me. So I started to pray for each person I walked by. I would pray for God to help them. Eventually as I continued to pray my eyes were opened to the real needs of those I was seeing everyday. My prayers went from “help them God” to “how can I help them God?”
The Lord began to show me small, tangible ways in which I could show His love. I remember it like it was yesterday. I said hello and offered to buy someone a coffee and a breakfast sandwich. They were so moved by my kindness and shared with me how they ended up on the streets. As they shared with me I knew I was doing what God wanted me to do. This lovely person needed to know someone saw them and they were not forgotten.
“If sometimes our poor people have had to die of starvation, it is not that God didn’t care for them, but because you and I didn’t give, were not an instrument of love in the hands of God, to give them that bread, to give them that clothing; because we did not recognize him, when once more Christ came in distressing disguise, in the hungry man, in the lonely man, in the homeless child, and seeking for shelter.” – Mother Teresa
If we ever need to see what a servant heart looks like we need only to look at the life of Jesus. He washed his disciple’s feet, he healed the sick, he spent time with the outcasts, he spoke to the woman at the well, he fed the hungry, he healed the blind and the lame, he fed the multitudes of people, and he saw the needs of those around Him and showed kindness. He did all those things as the son of God. He did not hold himself too busy or above those around him. Instead his love for us lead him to suffer and die on a cross so that ALL mankind could be reconciled with God.
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 (ESV)
We all have the opportunity to be the hands and feet of our Lord. God will use a willing heart to move mountains in someone’s life. When we love God we show that love by caring for those He places on our hearts. You see, it doesn’t have to be something large for everyone to see, it could be as simple as a hot coffee or a warm coat. Pray, seek and be the change in someone’s life that leads them to Christ.
– This is Starla from @threetinybows she makes and sells planners, stickers and more! Check out all about her and her perch on Instagram!