To regress a bit, last August I saw a post on Pinterest of each month of the year with a Scripture verse for each day. The suggestion on the top of each month was to write out the Scripture which would only take 10 to 15 minutes. Hence, I began on September 1, 2017, and have continued to this date. Another friend shared Scripture writing specifically for the Lenten Season which listed 40 Scriptures (from Ash Wednesday to Resurrection Sunday).
On March 5, 2017, the Scripture was Isaiah 58:6-7 (True and False Worship–the section heading in my Inspire Bible):
“No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongfully imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free , and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to them that need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.”
When I read this, the words that I have italicized jumped off the page. I knew I had to do something for the homeless and help family members when needed. It is difficult for me to type this as what we do for others we are supposed to keep to ourselves–which I have pretty much done. However, after today’s experience I felt led to share with you.
Shortly after that reading, I started to think what I could do and what I could give to the homeless. The following are the items (most of which came from the dollar store):
A bottle of water, a can of spaghettios/ravioli or the like, a can of Vienna sausages, a granola bar, a toothbrush/a small tube of toothpaste, a bar of soap, a washcloth (I get dishrags as they are less expensive, but serve the purpose), a small roll-on deodorant, plastic fork, knife and spoon, about 3 napkins and old socks if you can spare them. Important: the cans must have poptops. Also, I enclose a spiritual encouragement card (which I get from the Christian Book Club) or a handwritten note, e.g., God loves you, don’t give up, the Lord will direct you or something like that.
I take the toothbrush/paste, soap, napkins and the plastic ware and wrap them in the dishrag and secure them with a rubberband. These along with the other items, I put in a plastic bag and carry in my car. If your car stays outside, it is best to keep the bags inside until you go out.
Most importantly, I pray that the Lord will put the homeless in my path. Since I started this in March I have given away seven bags. And now for today, I was sure to have two bags in the car with me because I have seen a homeless man on an old bicycle near the gym I attend. After my workout, I looked for him, but he was not there.
I continued to drive out of the parking lot praying that I would see someone, and praise God, there was a young man and his dog sitting on the pavement out of the sun. I gave him a “Love Bag” and needless to say, he was so appreciative. We had a short conversation and he mentioned a friend was going to meet him, so I gave him the other bag as well. I then felt lead to pray for him and Roxie, his service dog.
Please don’t think I am patting myself on the back–I am not! The joy I experience when I give a bag away, is double the joy the recipient has.
So, my challenge to you is, if you feel God is leading, visit the dollar store and fill a few Love Bags. We have so much and they have so little. I promise you, the Lord will put these poor souls in your path, and you will be blessed with the pure joy of giving.
If called, will you take the challenge? If so, let me know.