Last week, a story that was shared on Facebook moved me to the core. With permission and blessings from the original poster, I wanted to share it with you too.
I had already been thinking A LOT about the way our world, and particularly our country, seems to continue becoming more divided. Do you think so, too?
It can make me very sad at times because it seems we aren't in a position to help.
If you are reading this, then you already know my mission is all about propelling positivity in the world….for EACH OF US….every day.
What can we do to manage our automatic minds? To re-calibrate our thoughts when we find ourselves in a spiral of feelings and attitudes that take us places inside where we don’t want to be? How can we create a consistently positive path for ourselves to return to? It’s never EVER about slamming a “Suzy Sunshine” lid on things or dismissing gnarly situations with some pretty platitude. It’s about REALLY SEEING THINGS AS THEY ARE…and as WE ARE. Sometimes when we hold up that mirror to our own thoughts and actions we will see some hard truths about a need for change. That mirror can be for our benefit and growth, rather than judgment and condemnation. It can require us to dig in and challenge us to find our courage. And, even more to engage our compassion…toward ourselves and others. Instead of stymying ourselves with criticism we can get creative about taking action that will not only propel positivity in the world, but it can also be the start of a quiet personal confidence that says… "I have the power to make something good happen. I am not a helpless victim to the relentless negativity swirling around me in this world.” But first….the story….
A pastor transformed himself into a homeless person and went to the church that he was to be introduced as the head pastor at that morning. He walked around his soon to be church for 30 minutes while it was filling with people for service. Only 3 people said hello to him, most looked the other way. He asked people for change to buy food because he was hungry. Not one gave him anything.
He went into the sanctuary to sit down in the front of the church and was told by the ushers that he would need to get up and go sit n the back of the church. He said hello to people as they walked in but was greeted with cold stares and dirty looks from people looking down on him and judging him.
He sat in the back of the church and listened to the church announcements for the week. He listened as new visitors were welcomed into the church that morning but no one acknowledged that he was new. He watched people around him continue to look his way with stares that said you are not welcome here.
Then the elders of the church went to the podium to make the announcement. They said they were excited to introduce the new pastor of the church to the congregation. "We would like to introduce you to our new Pastor." The congregation stood up and looked around clapping with joy and anticipation. The homeless man sitting in the back stood up and started walking down the aisle.
That's when all the clapping stopped and the church was silent. With all eyes on him....he walked up the altar and reached for the microphone. He stood there for a moment and then recited so elegantly, a verse from the Bible.....
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least of my brothers and sisters, you did for me.’"
After he recited this, he introduced himself as their new pastor and told the congregation what he had experienced that morning. Many began to cry and bow their heads in shame.
"Today I see a gathering of people here but I do not see a church of Jesus. The world has enough people that look the other way. What the world needs is disciples of Jesus that can follow this teachings and live as he did. When will YOU decide to become disciples?"
He then dismissed service until the following Sunday as his sermon had been given.
This reminds me of a friend whose story I previously shared. It's the perfect dovetail here. We all have our own feelings about homelessness. I’ve certainly looked the other way at intersections where people are asking for my help. I have found myself clueless, and honestly, turned off by their situation and also feeling helpless about solving such an overwhelming issue. Where does one person even begin to make a dent? Pointless to try, right?
That’s the feeling. Especially when these people aren’t “your” people. But what happens when the homeless person is your son or friend from the 5th grade or your mother? What if one of your dearest friends finds out that their father is living on the streets? That’s exactly what happened to this friend of mine. She found her formerly very successful father living on the streets in serious physical and mental distress after years of alcohol and drug abuse. She let this devastating discovery change her life. For the better. She became intricately knowledgeable about the homeless community. She also believed her father’s life was worth honoring. She was determined to become a positive force for good, and a role model for…..compassionate action. Knowing the homeless live without the most basic needs, she created what she calls...
She keeps them in her car all the time, to give to a homeless person whenever possible. She creates her own kits with the items she learned were most basic but most vital when living a life on the streets. These items are placed in large zip-lock bags ready to give through a rolled-down car window to quickly share.
A complete listing of suggested items for these kits follows, if you would like to create your own. Along with that list, another list of much needed Donation ideas for local shelters.
There are also pre-made kits, available on AMAZON with a link for purchase below.
GOT KIDS or GRANDKIDS?
WANT A TANGIBLE WAY TO TEACH THEM ABOUT COMPASSION?
WANT TO BE “THE SOMEBODY” that “DOES SOMETHING”?
WANT A SIMPLE WAY TO ROLE MODEL for your kids, about THINGS THAT CAN BE DONE when the world is telling us….there’s nothing we can do?
Keeping these COMPASSION KITS, always stocked in your car, will keep compassion and kindness and generosity front and center, not only in your own life, and in your family’s life, but also in anyone's life who might be riding in the car with you.
Or what if you made these COMPASSION KITS as a family project together?
Your children (and YOU) will have the ongoing experience of compassion.
The world will become a softer place in your heart and in your home.
Set of 25 Completed Homeless Compassion Kits Buy Now
Set of 96 Basic Toiletry Compassion Kits Buy Now
Earthwise Shopping Boxes
When you make a qualifying purchase through the provided links, a donation will be made through Amazon Smile to The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center in Dallas, in honor of my friend's father who received their vital recovery care services.
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