Lord, never stop breaking my heart for what breaks yours.....
I know this is far off the topic of fostering children but I wanted to share from my heart a few things that we have been doing recently and what it has done for us and our children. We won't have much to update on the foster situation until we start the MAPP classes (which start in 2 weeks - October 14th). We are anxiously awaiting the start to this wonderful new adventure. In the mean time we are striving to do what we can to love on God's beloved people - "the least of these".
After we read the book Radical a few months ago we felt a desperate sense of urgency to get out there and be the hands and feet and to share Gods message. A family friend of ours asked us about going downtown about 2 months ago to bring some food down to feed some people. What was suppose to be a one day event has turned into a weekly/biweekly ministry that has blessed not only a few homeless people downtown but also our family in ways that could never be expressed in words - it has blessed our hearts.
We have formed a friendship with a few homeless people downtown in the past 2 months - Carolina and Joe to name a few but the one who has stolen our hearts is a precious man named Rodger. He sits on a bench in Munn Park the whole day until his bench is hit by the hot summer sun. It is then that he moves under the shade of a special little coffee shop downtown (God Bless those owners they have truly shown compassion on this sweet mans life). I will never forget the day we first met him. He was in the shade of the coffee shop with his personal items lined up against the wall as he looked up at us from his work with his glasses on the edge of his nose. He had been working away drawing with the only pencil he had on the only paper he had - drawing the most beautiful drawing I have ever laid my eyes on. My heart pounded in my chest as we asked him if he wanted something to eat and drink. Thinking he might reject our efforts because he is passed by, by so many people that reject him on a daily basis I was surprised by his kind voice as he spoke with a soft sweet "Yes, thank you, please sit." So thats exactly what we did. We sat with Rodger as he ate that night, we learned about Rodger, we loved Rodger. Our girls loved Rodger. God loved Rodger.
As we learned about him we asked him about his life, his family and his situation. He has many health concerns that we were able to pray with him about that day and some personal items he needed that we are able to meet on a weekly basis. He asks for things like socks, jackets, jeans, bug spray and of course food and water. It sometimes seems like what we do for him is far too little but God knows his needs and is meeting him right where he is.
A story comes to mind of a recent encounter with our friend Rodger. My friend Ashley, her husband and their twin 2 year old children were with us this past week downtown. Rodger wasn't at his normal place but all of his "stuff" was so we knew he was close by. We went in search for him and we found him. We told Rodger we had food for him and he said he was just at a near-by restaurant trying to get a meal that night but didn't see the right person and had no luck. That is, he said, until he saw us. God is so good isn't he? He was starving that night as he ate two of the sandwiches we brought. He was full, we were full, God was full. It was beautiful. On this night Rodger had a concern about his finger that seemed to have an infection. My friend Ashley said, "is it warm to the touch?" and he said, "I don't know...you feel." And she did - she didn't even flinch she just reached out grabbed his clearly infected finger and did what most people wouldn't do in a million years, felt for the warmth of an infection. That day I saw Jesus in her actions complete and utter disregard for her own health and I don't think she even realized what a beautiful thing she did. To some it may seem like nothing, to most it would be too gross even look at but to her she was just loving a man the way Jesus would have loved him and it was beautiful. I will never forget her kindness that day. She is a beautiful person, inside and out.
Rodger tells us he doesn't want to be off the streets. He tells us that it's his life, it's what he knows and what he loves. That seems hard for any of us to wrap our minds around. To accept that his simple life is condensed into two big bags and that's the way he likes it? I'm not sure what the future holds for our sweet Rodger but I do know that God loves him and so do we. Our children pray for Rodger every night and so do Brett and I. I say none of this boast of what we are doing but I speak from my heart to open up the blind eyes of those who walk by these people everyday. Those scared to death of what it might mean to actually form a relationship with a homeless person. To be Jesus to one person that needs to see Jesus. My heart pours out with love for God as we love Rodger I am full of faith in my big God when I see Rodgers needs, on the street, being met. He is a big God isn't he? We give you all the praise Lord. You alone are worthy.