Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Be Christ

Sarah is a Christian wife and mom of two girls.  I love life and am learning how to give thanks in all things.  I enjoy blogging as a way to share with others the blessings and joys in life that are out there if we just look around! You can find her blog here and shop here. Read more posts from Sarah here.

What an Easter weekend!
It was wonderful.  It was different.

Back in March, I wrote here about "First World Problems".  I had participated in an adopt a block volunteer opportunity at an outreach of our church last month.  I talked about how the things that I think are "needs" really aren't "needs" at all - they're "wants" for the most part.  During this outreach, I saw people with real needs.  We reached out to these people and brought them information on programs that could help them.  We prayed with them.  Hopefully we touched someone's heart.

This past weekend, my family participated in adopt a block again.  It is the first Saturday each month, and it just happened to be Easter weekend.  This weekend, the volunteers put on a block party for the neighborhood we serve.  We brought food - burgers, hot dogs, chips, water, sodas, and all the fixins!  I didn't count, but there were probably around 100 people there.

I knew that I wanted to go back after that first adopt a block experience.  I know now that I still want to go back each month to serve.  This block party really got to me.  Last month, it was seeing the conditions that people just 15 minutes from my home were living in.  It was seeing children living in those conditions.  It was seeing a pregnant mama with two littles and thinking about how this precious new little one was going to be brought home into this environment.

This month was a little different.

I saw some of the same people - including the pregnant mama - and many new faces.  I watched these people walk through the line for food.  I saw their faces.  I heard them timidly ask for food.  I saw despair in their eyes.  When they came back through the line a second, third, and fourth time, I still saw it.  When I realized the food line wasn't as long as it was because there were that many people continuing to file into to line, and that it was because the same people were returning again and again, it really struck me.  These people weren't coming to the table in greed or selfishness.  No.  They were coming to the table out of hunger.

I heard one person ask why we were doing this - like they couldn't comprehend why anyone would do  something like this for them.  The answer is really quite simple.  We are called to be Christ to others.  We are called to serve.  We are called to help those in need.  This entire neighborhood {and others like it} is desperate for love and desperate to be shown God's grace and mercy.  I happily served food until there was no more to be served.  It broke my heart when I had to tell people we were out.  I thanked God for the opportunity for my family to serve in this capacity.  I hope and pray that these people felt His presence through the ministry of this outreach.  I hope and pray that some of them came to know Him through this experience.

When Easter came the following day, I couldn't help but think about these people and how those burgers and hot dogs may have been their Easter feast.  I wondered - Was that their only "meal" that weekend?  Was that the biggest meal they'd have for a while?  How do they sustain themselves on a day to day basis?  They aren't homeless, but they don't have much.

I scolded myself over and over as I frantically tried to find an outfit for church on Easter Sunday.  We don't have extra money for new clothes.  I haven't personally purchased any new clothes in probably about two years.  I was mad because I had "nothing" to wear, and my wardrobe was further limited by the fact that my last light-colored bra bit the dust a few weeks back and I haven't been able to get a replacement.  $$$$  I was mad because a new bra is apparently a luxury item in my home.  I was mad that I had to wear dark colors on Easter.  Then I was mad at myself for worrying over a bra and having to wear dark clothes!  I have clothes in my closet.  They're not perfect.  Certainly not new.  Definitely not something I'd do a "what I wore" post with.  But I have clothes.

My daughter didn't get a new Easter outfit either.  And she was totally happy.  The issue of her not having a new outfit wasn't even brought up.  She just wore what she had because that's what I put out for her.  In truth, it was a dress she got a couple years ago which has never fit.  I figured this has to be the year!  Aside from the pockets being around the back practically, it's looking pretty good now!

As I sat back and re-examined my own situation, I thought how lucky I had it.  Here I was worrying about something I had no business worrying about.  Clothes.  I reflected on the people I'd met the day before and thought how lucky they might think I am for what I have.  And I am - I truly am lucky.  We are very fortunate to have what we do have.  While our situation isn't 100% ideal financially speaking, we have so much more than we deserve.  In fact, this weekend is making me see how necessary it is to give up a little of what I do have so that someone like the people in this neighborhood could have a little more than what they have now.
It's not about what's in your closet.  It's not about what's on your table.  It's not about the "things" you own.  It's about your attitude towards the less fortunate.
It's about taking a step outside your comfort zone {maybe it's more than one step outside it!}.
It's about being the hands and feet of Christ for others.
It's about being an example to them.
It's about being a light to them.
It's about bringing hope to them.
It's about bringing God to them.

Rejoice in what you have!
Spread that joy with those who have not.

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