For the Least of These…
Deb Crowley of Urbandale, IA, USA
Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; -1 Peter 3:13-15
Our congregation has taken a non-profit organization called JOPPA under our wings. It is an agency that fights to end homelessness and works with the marginalized, those that fall between the cracks in existing agencies.
While working at JOPPA, filling medicine boxes this week, a couple walked in for service. Pat, the manager of the area, began helping them. They were looking for boots and blankets.
Overhearing part of the conversation, I questioned the lady about her circumstances. Did she live in a tent? No, their tent was stolen. They are living in a truck…for the past two and a half years. She said she just needed warm things because sometimes it got so cold that the skin on her hands would peel right off. She suffered from a brain injury which prevented her from working.
Sadly, JOPPA didn’t have boots that fit. They were out of tents. And the fleece blanket she cuddled to her cheek was lap size. Still, she was ever so grateful. As they were about ready to leave, she timidly asked if they could get a bag lunch.
I thought of the nice warm boots sitting in my closet at home not worn for two years as I have three other pairs. I thought of the blanket my husband bought me years ago that has a plug in for a car battery. It has been nested in our trunk unused for several years. I immediately made plans to take the blanket and the boots to JOPPA. Maybe this couple won’t be the recipients, but the manager knows who is in need and they will be a bit warmer because I can share from my overabundance.
What amazes me every time I work at JOPPA is the large number of folks walking in the doors seeking help. The compassion shown by Pat as he calls them by name, asks questions about their lives, assures them he will help however he can…it’s incredible! Even more incredible is the attitude of the needy. They continually share of their faith, their gratefulness for whatever they receive; and the smiles as they have been shown a bit of compassion and love are priceless.
Do you have any warm blankets, warm boots, warm hoodies, or tents to spare? Can you afford to purchase some hand warmers? There are never enough for those living in the cold. The needs are REAL. Everywhere. Take them to your local helping agency.
When we do it for the least of these…
In God we all belong.
Sustaining Our Connections
Many find themselves isolated around the world to protect each other and the most vulnerable during this global pandemic. Spend time prayerfully imagining those people that you might normally come into contact with on a regular basis, known and unknown. Remember all the connections that sustain our lives each day. Even in this time of intentional separation, how are you experiencing deep, intrinsic belonging in God?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.