Monday, March 29, 2010

crazy love

Last fall I went through a book study with a group of women on Tuesday mornings at church. The book was entitled "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. It was a life-changing book for made me re-think the way I "did life" and the way I viewed people.....but didn't really result in any tangible changes. That is, until today.

I have driven by homeless people with signs that say "will work for food" or "homeless" or something along those lines. I am embarrassed to say that after seeing them so many times, my heart had been hardened toward them. I would think things like "well, if they would just work they wouldn't be in this mess" or "perhaps they should stop drinking" or even "I certainly can't give them any money because they'll just spend it on alcohol". To me, those reasons justified my not doing anything to help them.....not even say a prayer for them......that is, until today!

Today I was running a few errands by myself and saw a man and woman standing in the median by a mall holding a sign that said "HOMELESS". I began driving by like I always have but this time I felt my heart say "help them". No, I didn't hear a voice or anything like that......the only way I can describe it is an overwhelming feeling to turn the van around and go back. I did. I pulled into the parking lot and began walking toward them. When I approached them they gave me big smiles. I handed them the $3.00 I had in my wallet, explained that this was honestly all I had right now, and you would have thought I had handed them $3000.00. They were so appreciative, thanked me profusely, and wished God's blessings on me.

I got back to my van, prayed for them and asked God to keep my heart soft toward people in need. I thought that's where my day would end. I went on to pick up a few things at Target and while I was there, I could not get this couple, Lenny and Malynn out of my mind. They had told me their names so I could pray specifically for them. I, again, felt my heart saying "buy some food for them". So, I did. I bought some small containers of applesauce, pears, peaches, mandarin oranges, crackers, etc. I picked up an Easter card and took out a bit more money from the ATM.

I went back to the mall, praying the whole time that they would still be there. They were. I parked in the same spot and motioned for them to come to me. When they got to me I said that I hoped this gift would be a blessing to them and to remember that they are cared for and will be prayed for. We all cried together when I handed them the bag of groceries and envelope. Lenny wanted to give me something and said all he had was an NIV Bible. I told him that I was just a girl who loves Jesus and is trying to be obedient to His will in my life. I told him to keep the Bible and pray for an opportunity to give it to someone who doesn't have one.....and I would be praying the same for him. They showed me their "house" which was their car. They told me a bit about their story.....lost their jobs on the west coast, then their house, headed this way since they have family here but they can't help out since they have their own financial difficulties.....the same story as many people these days.

I will probably never see Lenny and Malynn again but I am so thankful to have met them. They touched my life as much as they said I touched theirs. Thank you, Francis Chan, for writing such a challenging book and helping to change my life.