Blog post by Abby McDonald
For months I wondered what would happen if one of the city’s homeless graced the doorstep of our church. Would the lady I’d often seen walking the streets be welcomed in with warm smiles?
Her tattered comforter was always wrapped tightly around her like a cape. It seemed to be her only source of security as she made her way from one location to another.
What would occur if she came to this place which could bring her hope not just for this life, but for eternity? Would she be given looks of disapproval?
My husband and I had spoken with her before, asking how we could help, but were turned away. She continued wandering around the canal, setting up a small camp of belongings here and there. I couldn’t get the picture of her out of my mind, the way she always seemed to be talking to no one in particular.
Then one day she was there.
She stood at the doorway to our small church as worship began. Instead of being given looks of disdain she was invited in not once, but three times by various people.
She politely refused.
As I heard about the interaction she’d had with the church, I uttered praises to God. Whether she’d chosen to come inside or not, a seed was planted that day.
It was a Sunday just like any other. But that Sunday she saw a little bit of Jesus here on earth.
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least one of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:45 NIV
It isn’t about you and me, friends. It never was. Whatever we do to those who are lost, hurting, and wandering the streets, we do to Jesus Christ.
If Jesus stood at the doorway of your church, would you invite him in? Would you recognize him?
Every day, we have the opportunity to bring a little bit of heaven down to earth.
Many times, we choose to go about with our everyday lives, blinded to the world and the great need around us. And we don’t have to travel across oceans to find it.
We can simply look across the street or in our back yard. We can look into the eyes of a depressed new mom who needs a friend or a young soul who’s been transplanted so many times she lost her anchor somewhere along the way.
The desperate and hurting are everywhere around us. We simply have to open our eyes.
I wish I could say the homeless woman had some miraculous salvation experience that Sunday morning. I wish she’d accepted the invitation to come inside and had felt the warmth of Christ’s body around her. However, that isn’t what happened.
Our job is simply to plant a seed. Often, we don’t see the results on this side of eternity, but we plant them nonetheless. It is God who makes the seed thrive and flourish into something beautiful.
Today, my prayer is that the Spirit will soften my heart just a little bit. I pray my vision will be widened beyond the walls of my rancher to the widow next door, the lonely down the street, and the callous around the corner. Whether I deliver a meal or simply engage in conversation, I can make a difference.
Change starts when we move from an attitude of “I’m only one” to “I’m the one.”
Abby McDonald is a writer who can’t contain the lavish love of a God who relentlessly pursues her, even during her darkest times. When she’s not chasing her two little boys around, she loves hiking, photography, and consuming copious amounts of coffee with friends.
Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.