Every week through the Benevolence ministry, I am able to see people that give out of their nothingness.
Being able to see God moving among the vulnerable in our community is an act of worship. A man that has become our friend through the Benevolence ministry recently came by with snacks and bottled waters that he had purchased for those who come in. He lives in his car and has no possessions, but gave all that he had to bless others. This man, who some might deem worthless, blessed me and many others in this community. He caused me to worship the Lord, and reminded me about sacrifice.
This reminds me of the widow’s mite in Luke 21:1-4:
This poor widow has put in more than all the others.
We need to begin to see those experiencing homelessness or those impacted by poverty as agents of God’s healing and blessings, rather than a project or something to be afraid of or to fix. We have just as much of a need to receive from the poor as they do from us.
This past week a friend who sleeps at San Jose’s restaurant was killed. Charlie was a young man who had been coming to the church for bus passes and snacks. He came to Wednesday night dinner and joined our Bible Study for those that are experiencing homelessness. He talked about his relationship with the Father and how he wanted to get some things right. We had a great night of fellowship, laughter and making peace with God. A day later he was killed, and our hearts were broken. The only comfort we had was that his last night on earth was filled with hope, community, love and the wonderful forgiveness of our Lord.
In the short time we were able to know him, Charlie reminded us that we must put to death our need for comfort and join in the suffering of those around us. When we join in solidarity with those who are suffering, we remember all that Christ has done for us. How might God use this story to pull us into a deeper relationship with our community that would require us to be uncomfortable? Let us welcome the stranger and be thankful for their presence!
If you are interested in walking with those who are experiencing difficulties, please email .