This morning as my husband, Jim, and I got ready to leave for church, I put on my coat, scarf and gloves to stay warm in the 20-degree weather and single-digit windchill. I had to decide between brown gloves to go with my pants or black gloves to go with my coat; cloth or leather, solid or pattern …
I thought of those who have no warm home to turn on the heat, no hot water to make a cup of tea, no hat, gloves, scarves or coat against this bitter cold. So on a whim, I threw an extra pair of gloves in the car. We had bought them last year and they still had the tags. As we left for church, I said a prayer that I’d find someone who needs those gloves.
We go to church in a wealthy neighborhood in east Memphis and we live in Germantown, an affluent suburb. So the likelihood of seeing a needy or homeless person between our home and our church … almost nil. In fact, I’m not sure I ever have.
Until this morning. As we drove home from church, a man was walking down the street wrapped up in a blanket. There was no place to pull over, so we had to circle a block or two, then come back around and find him again. As we turned back onto a major street, there was a homeless man at the intersection holding a sign. Jim and I gave the man what cash we had in our wallets. He already had gloves, so we kept going and found the first man in a parking lot, wrapped up in that ratty blanket — with no gloves and very cold hands. It occurred to me that if the first man had been at any other point on our route, we’d have been able to easily pull over and would never have seen the second man. Coincidence? I’m going with no.
Beginning with the rest of Advent, I’ll commit to pray this prayer every day: Help me to keep my eyes open for those in need. To go looking instead of just waiting for them to come to me. I’m going out today to buy some gloves, hats, scarves and maybe a blanket or two to keep in my car. I’ll pray that God will show me someone in need, that I will not just give and serve when it’s convenient, but that I’ll go looking for opportunities.
Because if He can place two needy persons in our path between Laurelwood and Germantown at that moment in time … what greater impact can we have if we actively seek to serve?
I’m not waiting for opportunity — I’m going knocking. Come with me.
Give me your ideas/stories in the comments.