Our smallish city has recently made known to the public that we have a Tent City. Larger cities have these and now so do we. There aren’t many people who live there (one homeless person is still one too many) I think the population hovers around a dozen people. We have a couple of homeless shelters that stay full…I suppose this is some of the overflow.
I’ve really felt in my heart lately that what God has always wanted from us is to help the less fortunate. It’s all throughout the New Testament and I couldn’t shake it. I also didn’t know which direction to go with this feeling. Thankfully God has also been dealing my Pastor about compassion and he has decided to take Tent City on. We are collecting blankets and other items to deliver to them, working out a way to pick them up for our church’s monthly men’s breakfast (which will no longer be only for men) and eventually to pick them up for church. I appreciate that he seems to be going at it backwards from what he has tried before. We aren’t inviting them to church right away because as the old saying is “people don’t care what you know until they know how much you care”. God is giving us a heart of compassion and I am thankful for it.
I considered what type of blanket to take and felt like I needed to “go big or go home” so I got a sleeping bag that is suitable for temps as low as 10 degrees. It cost $40 and I stood in the aisle at Walmart wrestling with my mind. My heart said “do it” and my mind wanted to buy the regular one for half the cost. It was a fierce internal dialogue between heart and mind, between spirit and flesh. I finally told my mind to hush up and I bought it.
This morning Pastor preached on whether we are sowing sparingly or abundantly. I hope that I sow abundantly. What’s the point of going to the effort of making a difference if it’s just going to be effort that doesn’t require sacrifice? If it doesn’t require me to go outside of my comfort zone? After church I took my 4 year old niece to my car, explained to her what it was for and let her take it to our Pastor’s wife. She told her it was “for people who don’t have houses”. That lesson alone for her was worth more than $40.
Commit to the bit. Go big or go home.