Monday, October 6, 2008

On my way home from church...

I know I don't share a ton of personal stuff on my blog. I wish I did, but frankly, I feel like I hardly have enough time to get the posts of all my shoots up :) And I definitely don't go in to much detail about my faith or my beliefs - in part because I don't want to offend anyone, or make anyone uncomfortable. But, I really just have to share this with all of you...

A few weeks ago, I was on my way home from church and I saw a woman walking down the street. I drove past her and felt very clearly that God was asking me to go pick her up and give her a ride. I kept trying to shake the feeling because, heck, Mom always told you not to talk to strangers and to never pick up hitch-hikers, right? But, the Lord kept prompting, and I finally gave in and turned around. It turned out she wasn't going too far, and I gave her a ride. She was clearly having a hard day and needed a little kindness from someone. After I dropped her off, I prayed for her, and didn't think of it much again until tonight.

Tonight I was driving home from GENESIS and I saw her again, in about the same place, walking in the opposite direction. So, once again, I drove past her but felt like God was asking me to turn around. And so, once again, I turned around and picked her up. She recognized me and thanked me. But when I asked her where she was going, she told me that she didn't have anywhere to go. She's homeless and was just planning to walk around all night to stay warm.

So, I pulled into a parking lot, kept the car running and the heat on, and just listened to her story for a couple hours. I tried to offer to pay for her to stay in a hotel for the night, but she refused. She told me she'd tried some shelters but they were all really scary and that she felt more comfortable risking it with the drunks out on the streets at night. And it broke my heart that I couldn't help her more. I didn't think my roommates would be too pleased with me if I invited to her stay with us, and I don't know of any shelters in my area at all, much less one that I could recommend that would be safe. So, in the end, I had to let her out of the car and watch her walk away. She thanked me for my kindness, but I just felt sad that I couldn't do more.

What good is it to be nice to someone, or to love them, if you don't take care of their needs? This is a question I've asked myself a lot having seen all I've seen in the mission field. It's a question I have asked of the church quite a bit. James 2:14-18 says "What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, 'Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,' but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, 'You have faith; I have deeds.' Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do." What is the church, what is my church, doing to help this woman and others like her? What can I do? I can pray for her. I can give her a ride and a couple hours of warmth. I can give her food. I can give her compassion, mercy, love, and respect. I can listen. I just wish I could do more. And I wish I could point her to others who would do more.

In Chicago, I worked with an amazing homeless ministry called Breakthrough Urban Ministries. I absolutely love that place. In Boston, I've heard great things about Rosie's Place - in fact it's one of the organizations that benefits from my Give program (check out my website for more details). But, I don't know of anything in Woburn, or nearby. Do any of you? Seriously, I am looking for suggestions. The next time I see my new friend, I want to be able to truly help her. Give me some great ideas, people! :)




And one final thought, or encouragement. The next time you walk by a homeless person, or drive by someone struggling down the street, what will you do? Think about it. Pray about it. And ACT on it. Don't just say you want to help people, or say you love or care for people. Do it. Imagine the difference it would make in people's lives if every one who claims to love Jesus (or anyone at all), actually went out of their way to show that love to others. Just imagine what that would do...

And M, if you found my site and my blog from the card I gave you, and if you're reading this - please know that I'm praying for you. I pray that God would keep you safe tonight, and warm. And I pray that you would find Jesus out there, and that He would pull you up out of this hard situation so that you would know how much He loves you. And I pray that we would meet again someday, soon.

9 comments:

  1. how true.. too often the greatest distance lies between our head and our heart; our heart and our hands.

    reminds of this scene: http://jmpang.blogspot.com/2008/05/homeless.html

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  2. What a beautiful post K. I know how tough it is to find the time to post personal entries, but you just summed about everything anyone needs to know about you in this one post.

    ~Matt

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  3. k you are truly one of by favorite people. This woman will probably benefit more than you will ever know simply by knowing that you care about her - don't underestimate the power of that consideration compared to more tangible actions

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  4. Great post Krista! I am sure you have made an impact with this woman. It is hard to know how to help when they may be unwilling to receive help. It's sad and heart breaking. I think praying for way her is all you can do right now. Just think about how God can work in her life in the future because you were willing to stop! Thanks for your post.

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  5. Sarah Catherine WheelerOctober 6, 2008 at 5:50 PM

    beautiful, Krista. I love hearing your heart in your words... :)

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  6. Krista,
    you are inspiration, compassion and kindness all rolled into a beautiful gesture of love. thank you for being you and caring so deeply and listening to your heart.
    I often wonder exactly what you expressed...what can i do???? how can I help??? Thanks for expressing this to the world.

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  7. Thanks everyone for the encouragement! I will definitely post an update when and if I meet her again.

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  8. Krista.... so very beautiful! I am so excited that you are my new friend : ) love you tons! elp

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