As I post this, it is about 6:00 am in Jerusalem. It is Resurrection Day. Easter.
I take my faith seriously. I take this calling to serve the homeless seriously. I stepped out in faith a year ago, listening to my Lord as He pulled at my heart so severely that I curled on my bed crying for the homeless women that I saw in my mind, living in cars with children and without hope. It took me a while to find those women, and along the way I met homeless men first, then the women began to come along. I’ve said it before, women hide. We try the best we can to stay safe, away from the predators that ARE out there. We couch surf, rent rooms in cheap and sometimes trashy motels, seek shelter from missions that are corrupt, and rely on the mercy of strangers to help us. I know that goes for men too. I am grateful there have been people along the way that did step up to the plate to help me. I know that there were others who aren’t as brave or don’t have the faith and the courage that I learned to have that comes only from God and from knowing that this is what He wants me to be doing. I pray for those folks to learn faith and find God.
I’m not sure who my followers are that read these posts. I dearly and sincerely hope that you are reaching out to those poor souls like people have reached out to me. As one reader very astutely pointed out, Matthew 25: 31-46, “when I was hungry, you fed me. As a stranger, you invited me in.” It takes courage to step out in faith and reach out to a dirty, smelly, alcohol hazed stranger. There’s a lot of violence and hatred in this country of freedom, and we lost the ability to trust each other, to help the town drunk, the town mentally challenged, the family struggling under so much debt they don’t know whether to partially pay the gas bill or the electric bill. We know we need to help, our hearts tell us to, but fear holds us back. Fear is Satan’s creation. Courage is God’s-the words “fear not” is written 365 times in the Holy Bible, one for every day of the year. Jesus spoke those words in Matthew. And very clearly, He tells us He will come back. One day He will come back to judge us, but I’m really very certain that He comes back and checks on us as individuals now, to test our hearts, to show us what it is that we need to work on.
The whole point of our journey on the face of this earth is to find our way back home, to heaven, where we all began. Easter for so many homeless is just another day. As homeless, we aren’t always connected into the day to day calendar, or the news, or the Internet. We have phones, thank God, but we don’t always have service, or minutes, to be able to use them. Phones aren’t a privilege, Obamaphones are better than having nothing, believe me. Phones are a lifeline. Easter isn’t just another day. Easter isn’t about commercialism, chocolate bunnies, or Easter Egg hunts. Its a day to celebrate re-birth. Resurrection. Life, eternally, and the hope that we can get there because Jesus came, taught us to love everyone, and I do mean everyone. For me, Easter today-THIS day, is a new beginning. I know that Jesus died for me, so that I could be here, today, preaching in whatever way that I can, reaching out to the homeless, my friends, getting people to recognize that the only way we can get out of this life successfully to the next one is through Jesus, and to help our fellow man, and woman, to give a hand up. Getting the Word out there however I can, whether it be on the Internet like this, face-to-face conversations, or only by my actions to show I walk what I talk. I really and truly try.
Jesus said it, Isaiah prophesied it, and I’m trying to live it: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor”(Luke 4: 18-19). I’m not Jesus, and some days, I’m barely Christ-like, no matter how hard I try. But I do know with all my heart that God called me to help the homeless, to help the women, and to preach the truth so that everyone who hears me can once again hear and understand what we are TRULY supposed to be doing here.
God bless you all. Happy Easter. He is risen, and HE LIVES! AMEN!