Sunday, December 21, 2008

Faith is love in action; and love in action is service.

An excerpt from Mother Theresa's book, No Greater Love-

"There are many medicines and cures for all kinds of sicknesses. But unless kind hands are given in service and generous hearts are given in love, I do not think there can ever be a cure for the terrible sickness of feeling unloved.

None of us has the right to condemn anyone. Even when we see people doing bad and we don't know why they do it. Jesus invites us not to pass judgment. Maybe we are the ones who have helped make them what they are. We need to realize that they are our brothers and sisters. That leper, that drunkard, and that sick person are our brothers because they too have been created for a greater love. This is something that we should never forget. Jesus Christ identifies Himself with them and says, "Whatever you did to the least of my brethren, you did it to me." Perhaps it is because we haven't given them our understanding and love that they find themselves on the streets without love and care.

Be kind, very kind, to the suffering poor. We little realize what they go through. The most difficult part is not being wanted."

Yesterday was a bitter cold day on the streets, but that didn't stop many from meeting us for pizza, hot cocoa and conversation.

Just one story - we had a brand new sleeping bag still in the box donated this past week. Trusting in God, we prayed that he would bring to us the one who needed it most.

After leaving Division Street, we drove to the public library to see if there was anyone in need of some pizza and hot cocoa.

I went in and met a few brothers from the weeks before. They are both in their mid-sixties, at least. Jim and Carl were enjoying the warmth and quiet of the library but were glad to have some hot lunch. Jim was staying at Guiding Light. I asked Carl, where he was staying. He said he was out on the street until the previous night when he had gone to Mel Trotter. He said he still had a friend on the street. I asked if he could us a sleeping bag, to which he happily replied, YES! They said they were thankful to have the peace of the library as the missions are really noisy.

Outside we handed Carl the sleeping bag and told him the Lord was saving this especially for him. Both he and his friend, Jim, chatted for awhile then said, God bless you.

These brothers are probably in their early sixties, at least.

I saw on the news today that the library was closed. This is not good news for many who seek peaceful shelter there.

This week, please pray for a few of the brothers and sisters we met over the past weeks.

Diane - very depressed yesterday. We have talked with her before. This day she seemed particularly down.

Jim and Carl, Tom, Ed, Tina and Gene - for full-time jobs

Elmer who wants to get off SSI and get a job. He has an apartment.

James, Les, Doug, Bernice, Carlita, Earl, Daryll

Sylvester who has two jobs and is taking care of an ailing father. He has a strong faith, but is struggling with finances and family demands.

Ivory who will be starting college classes in January with the hope of improving himself to get a good job.

May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ reign in your heart, your mind and on your lips today and always!

True meaning of Christmas - giving from the heart

Yesterday was the first time I was able to help with the homeless. It was an eye-opening experience. The way the people looked you in the eye and some were so desperate for a connection. I saw Christ in those people and felt His presence amoung us. To give without expecting anything back and for them to know we weren't expecting anything from them. I felt each hot cup of cocoa given was warming my heart also. I know those people have a lot of problems, but at that moment I shared in our humaness. Christ doesn't want us to serve eachother out of obligation or guilt. He wants us to serve eachother to experience his love working through us. He wants to draw us closer to who he is. There is not a better way to spend a cold Saturday - Together with our family and sharing His true meaning of "God with us." Merry Christmas.