The Contributor

Tonight, while on the way to get some dinner, we passed a homeless man near our McDonald’s parking lot.  He was in a wheelchair.  He was dressed in dirty clothes.  And many people were passing him by on their way to get dinner.  My husband was in the back seat with our daughter and a conversation started up, “What do we do?”

Let me rewind a little bit to share my former perspective on this issue.
Homelessness scared me.  I got nervous when I saw people sleeping on the streets and I am ashamed to admit it  Maybe others struggle with those feelings too, but that doesn’t make it any easier to swallow.  I always felt guilty when I would pass people on the streets without helping them.  But I’ve learned and grown a lot after dealing with this issue for several years.  The turning point came when a woman came to our church to talk about a ministry she started called, The Contributor.  This ministry distributes a “street newspaper.”  As their website states,  “Street Newspaper is a term for a newspaper that focuses on the issues surrounding homelessness and poverty and is sold by homeless and formerly homeless individuals on the street as an alternative to panhandling.”  When she finished talking about and showing pictures of her ministry, my heart slowly began to change.  I knew this was for me.  Knowing this ministry existed was so exciting for me.  I decided I’d take action that day.  Since then, I have kept some cash in my car for whenever I see one of these vendors.  I have vowed that (whenever possible) I will always stop and buy a newspaper from a vendor.  These men and women are working hard selling newspapers to make their lives (and their families lives) better.  And to me…that is admirable.

Fast forward to tonight and back to my story…
As my husband and I passed this man on our way to get dinner, we noticed he was selling The Contributor and my mind was made up.  I knew I would pass him again on our way home so I immediately asked my husband to get out some of my money.  We pulled into the parking lot and I got out.  The man started to smile (which still brings tears to my eyes as I’m writing this.)  His first question, “Are you the girl who is training for the roller derby?”  Now, for those of you who know me, this might bring you a small laugh 🙂  I laughed and said, “No, you must be mistaking me for someone else.  Maybe I was a roller derby girl in another life.”  This brought a laugh from him and sparked about a five-minute conversation.  He was one of the nicest people I have ever met and I probably would’ve stayed and talked with him for much longer.  On my way back to the car, newspaper in hand, he called out, “God Bless!”  To which I replied, “God bless you too!”

I know that this one small thing has changed my life and perspective and I pray that it helps my daughter see one small way she can help others and serve the Lord. 

1 Corinthians 4:11 (New International Version)
11To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless.

Matthew 25:37-40 (The Message)
 37-40“Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’

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Creativity Calling!

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been bugging my husband to let me paint the house.  He repeatedly said no (which I’m now secretly glad he did), but I couldn’t figure out why I still had this urge to paint.  It’s not that I hate the colors in our house or anything.  But I figured it out…I was feeling the need to be creative.  Now, before you laugh, let me explain.  Being in school since I was five and then teaching for the past five years, I have had my fair share of creative outlets (lesson plans, bulletin boards, etc.)  I am now realizing that I have a need to be creative and since I have been a stay-at-home mom now for seven months; I haven’t used my creativity to its fullest.  Therefore, the need to paint.  So, I started thinking of other ways to fulfill my creative need.

One of my friends was having her baby shower, so I decided to try something new.  I had seen a picture of something similar on a friend’s Facebook page and realized I could do it too!  So I set out to JoAnn’s (which I LOVE) and found all my supplies.  I sat down at the table and got to work.  It felt so good to create something again! I worked for a couple of hours and was pretty pleased with the end result.

After making the basket, I thought about other things I want to do.  I’m going to do the same thing to my daughter’s name letters that are up in her room.  Right now, they’re just plain white and I’m hoping to liven them up a bit.  I’m also going to start scrapbooking.  I think this is a great way to express creativity.  I’m going to start with making a baby book for my daughter.  I already have one that you just fill in the blanks, but I want to make her a personal one…one that I’ve taken time to make.  After I get caught up on her baby book, I think I’m going to attempt to make a scrapbook of the European Adventure that we had before our daughter was born, then one of the two of us before kids.  I figure our kids are going to need to know that we were cool “back in the day”! 🙂

Anyway, I’m super excited about the upcoming craft-making that will be going on soon in my house and just wanted to share.  I think I see a scrapbooking and wine party in my future…anyone else? 🙂