Monday, December 20, 2010

One Very Cold Night

Sometimes my heart just needs to be reminded . . .

The nature of the type of work we do means we get asked for a lot of STUFF. People have needs, and we want to do our best to help meet people's physical needs so that we can minister to the deeper needs of their heart. But lately we have been reading and studying some things that are teaching us to do our best not to enable the people we work with by increasing their dependence on us (and not only that, but a lot of times when we give them stuff, we not only increase their poverty of spirit by making them more dependent, but we also increase our own poverty in that we become prideful . . .) The truth is that many of the families we work with could actually meet their own needs with a little help, teaching, prodding . . .

But there's this one family we work closely with, and their mama is an absolutely gem. She is the most grateful, sweet, loving person. Who never asks us for anything. Truly. Now granted, she has made some BAD decisions. And as a result, she has 7 kids and one grand-baby who live with her, in one bedroom. Not a one-bedroom apartment, just one bedroom. Period.

This sweet lady, April, told her daughter's mentor that she didn't have any winter jackets for her kids. And people, it has been COLD up in here lately. So I felt a little panicky for my kiddos. And we gathered some folks who all bought coats and we ended up with some really nice winter coats for her kids. Adam and I wanted to bring them to her right away, so Friday night after a dinner meeting, we headed downtown.

We pulled up to their building, waving off all the people who naturally assumed we were there to purchase some of their wares (if you know what I mean). We grabbed several big Gap bags and shivered on the front porch while we waited for her to answer the door. Entering her room, I was able to make out all seven kids huddled on the queen sized bed, by the light of one small flickering candle. She explained that they only had one outlet that worked, and they were using it for a small space heater since there was no heat. I looked down as a small hand slipped into mine, and I embraced little Raymone tightly, tears slipping down my cheeks as he asked if he could please some stay at our house. I opened my mouth to tell him yes, forever, but Adam explained that we had brought him a winter jacket and would be back to pick him up for church on Sunday.

I sat down and pulled Ray Ray into my lap. He softly whispered in my ear: "Becca, I love white people." Surprised, I looked at him and asked "Why?"
"Because they are SO nice," he said earnestly. I responded with a hug, and explained that it isn't the color of your skin that makes you nice or mean, but rather what's inside your heart. I told him that the reason we were so nice to him was only because Jesus lived inside of us, and Jesus loved him so so much.

At one point during our little conversation, I looked up to see Adam telling April that we wanted to move downtown so she could bring the kids over to play, and sit with us and drink coffee. Or to do her laundry. Tears streamed down her face, and babies snuggled on the bed, Ray Ray sat in my lap, and Lee was holding my hand.

And all of a sudden I knew just a little bit of what it felt like in the stable so long ago, as Jesus lay sleeping in a manger: a bed not fit for a baby, let alone a King. And yet it was holy, peaceful, joyful even. Because Jesus IS the least of these, and His presence can warm even the darkest room, the draftiest stable.

It is moments like these that I remember how much our Savior loves and provides for every single one of His children, and I remember how blessed we are to be able to serve Him in the darkest places. Because that's usually where we find Him, where we expect Him the least and need Him the most.

17 comments:

  1. Hey, we are in the same situation that y'all are. What books are you reading?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am so thankful that you went. And I am so thankful that you can share about Jesus. I feel so sad when I hear children say that they love white people. I want them to know that anyone can be good and kind and it doesn't matter what color their skin is. I can't wait until you can move to the city and share in even greater ways.

    Love, Becky

    I will pray for that family. That beautiful family. XO

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh dear heavens. I am so crying this morning as I read this. THANK YOU for being willing to love on who most think of as the unlovable. If only there were more people who saw this as serving the King. I wish we were near you as to have some fellowship with like minded others. I would love to know what you've been reading. I heard a fabulous seminar, actually in Atlanta, by Sherman Bradley from City Gospel Mission in Cincinatti, OH. He has a website and ministry called Consider the Poor. It's soo good! I'll be praying for this family and your ministry. May God continue to bless and use your family! Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth!

    Merry Christmas, friend!

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a sweet story. I'm so glad you are able to be Jesus to this family!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh my. This just made my heart ache. I've been reading "Radical" and this post reminds me of that.

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a moving and touching story, and you told it so very well. It's so awesome to think that every single moment of yours and Adam's life leading up to this time has been GOD preparing you both for being in this family's life, as well as every other person GOD has place in your path. You both are truly remarkable in answering HIS call. I love you both! I will be lifting up this family, and all your kiddos up in prayer...and you guys too!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I needed to read this tonight. Thanks so much for sharing your sweet heart.

    ReplyDelete
  8. thank you. Thank you for sharing your heart, for giving of yourself, and for showing Jesus. I'm really good at the telling, but I'm working on the showing.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I popped over here from BooMama. This was a precious post, thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Precious friend.

    I love this. I love your work, I love your words, I love your heart, I love you.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh, Becca, this brought tears to my eyes. Just beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi, i just want to say hello to the community

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow! a beautiful post. I loved your comment about making the people we help more dependent, and I'm wondering if I am doing that with a family I am trying to help. But the kids? How can they help themselves? I can't bear to watch them be under dressed when it's so cold or not have that confidence they need to succeed once they get older, because of their circumstances. Gives me a lot to think about.
    Thank you for writing this, and I'm so glad I took BooMama's advice and clicked on over!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love that book, since I am pretty sure which one you are reading. LOVE it. So wonderful that you can be in a place to truly help people, not only only physically but spiritually. And isn't sometimes the biggest blessing our own?

    ReplyDelete
  15. beautifully written. Thank you for doing the work of Jesus. Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love this and how you beautifully picture Jesus showing up. I just love it. Great, great post.

    ReplyDelete
  17. WOW Becca, you and Adam are truly inspiring. I am pretty speechless right now. Thank you for everything you do. Love you!

    ReplyDelete

I LOVE hearing from you. Thank-you for reading and interacting, and being the best!

ShareThis

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...