We wind around each bend along our curved roads. With my car, I make way for two little mommies pushing umbrella strollers on this unsafe road, each stroller holding a little one.
“Mommy, why are they opening the trash cans?”
“Well it’s Monday trash day, they are probably collecting recyclables to earn money for their families. You know how you do that, and what do you buy with it?”
“Just save it, or buy random stuff…”
“Right, because you have everything you need, so that money is extra, but for them, they’ll be buying food for their children and things they need.”
We pass by a homeless man down the road as we zip as quickly as possible to school.
The kids inquired, I explained to them about homelessness.
“MOMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Elijah cried out, “LET’S GET HIM!!!!!!!!”
“Yes, we HAVE TA!!”
“Well…no,” I look at the man again, scruffy neck, dirty clothes, just Elijah’s thought about ‘getting him,’ made him seem more endearing to me. Someone’s son.
“Um…how about, after we drop off the big kids at school, we can buy some granola bars for him and the other people we see who need it and keep it in the car to give out whenever we need?” hoping this is a better compromise for my little guy who wants to take everyone in, cries for people who cry and packs thoughtful gifts of his own toys for his friends while he gets ready for preschool.
The kids are in school, Poppy, Elijah and I stop by the store searching for granola bars, we find some–the cheapest ones, and go on with our day. We don’t see anyone until a few days later.
“Look Elijah, there, we can ask him…”
But wait–now I feel nervous? My dang compassionate kid…
“Hi, are you hungry, would you like a granola bar?”
Elijah leaned forward in his carseat, craning to see this man who would be eating because of him.
The man quickly limped up to us, hopeful, thankful, and mumbled a cheery, “God bless you, ma’am,” as he took it into both hands.
“BLESS YOU!!!” Elijah called to him.
It was an exchange between Elijah and the man, don’t mind me. It was incredible.
“Wow, good job buddy, I am really super proud of you for having that idea, that was seriously awesome, he is so happy.” I go from feeling embarrassed that we had so little to give and wanting to hold back, to wishing we could do more, he was so kind and thankful. I am constantly reminded how far kindness goes when I actually choose to participate in it. “I love your heart Elijah, even when you drive me crazy, you have the very best heart…”
“Yeah……….” he pauses for a second, his mind racing thinking about that sweet man….
“LET’S GET HIM!!!!”
“We are ‘getting’ NO ONE!!”
“But…he needs a HOME!!!!!”
“Let’s praaaaaaay for him, and for God to show us more people who need help, and show us real ways to help them? Yay or nay?”
“Okkkkk…..” serious, but a little bummed to not get his dream of a homeless man living with us.
We have close friends who have welcomed homeless people into their homes to live, have you ever done so or heard about it? We have no physical room, but when I read verses like this, I am intrigued by what others may be doing:
What I’m interested in seeing you do is:
sharing your food with the hungry,
inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
being available to your own families.
Do this and the lights will turn on,
and your lives will turn around at once.
Your righteousness will pave your way.
The God of glory will secure your passage.
Then when you pray, God will answer.
You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’
Isaiah 58: 7-9
Share with me what you have seen done that fits along the lines of that verse if you can, I would love to hear!