Break my heart for what breaks Yours. Help me realize how much You love me, and truly blessed I am. Help me see the things I take for granted. Open my eyes to truly see the need of this city. Humble me and break me to depend on You. Give me boldness to proclaim Your name and show Your love. Mission accomplished. So many emotions running through my veins, and so many thoughts circulating my head. I feel crushed. I can't seem to produce a genuine smile right now because I can't possibly be happy having seen what I saw. I was scared to take that step forward, and serve Him, but I decided I needed to start walking. Too often I say I want to do this or I need to do that, it's about time I just go. The last few days I have been finding the courage to start going through with what the God's put on my heart. It hit a peak Tuesday night when I went through by going with my small group, that I meet with on Tuesday nights, to go downtown to feed the homeless.
What a truly humbling, heartbreaking experience. We made a ton of pb&j's in little baggies to hand out along with a cold bottle of water, a devotional book, and a card with information where they can go get free food, showers, clothes, and a church service. Such a great opportunity to go show the love of Christ. We are the body of Christ, we are His arms and feet; but how are we doing the body justice, if we aren't reaching and moving to people for Christ. To see the faces of these people as we handed them these things is a lesson we can all take to heart. The display of sincere gratitude and appreciation for us taking time to reach out to them broke my heart. I realize how much I take for granted. I saw my selfishness on a whole new level that had been unseen before.
I got the opportunity to sit down with one of the guys who managed to strike a conversation with one of the homeless we were feeding. This man he was talking to was named Juan. He was 57 years old and has been homeless for about 7 years he told us. I'm not sure on how the conversation I just saw that he was taking advantage of the window of opportunity he was being given and I felt to come in too. We were able to start talking about Christ with this man. Unfortunately, this man's heart had been so hardened towards Christ that he began insulting Christ and everything He stands for. I don't blame him though, honestly. Unfortunately, some people proclaiming Christ and proclaiming wanting to help were also doing some questionable things I'd rather not share, but it ranged from substance abuse to sexual abuse of the homeless people. This man's family had been directly affected by these people abusing the homeless. This angered me as to how could someone abuse and tarnish the name of Christ by doing such things and being such hypocrites. This man was so convinced that Christ was such a coward, and wasn't anything worthy, let alone the Son of God. We tried to convince this man otherwise, and that we were different. That those people were false teachers and lacked a true intimate relationship with Christ, and we were there to show the true love of Christ to him because He loves us and him too. We tried to show him that just because you can proclaim the name doesn't mean anything unless you had a real relationship with Him. That real relationship is when actions and attitudes start to change and you set off on a path to become more Christ-like. We told him that our Jesus truly loves him and we did too. That the real Jesus Christ is the Son of God who sacrificed Himself because He loved us. It made no sense to this man, as to why then things so terrible had happened in his life; which in turn allowed us to shed light on God's sovereignty and how He has reasons for everything. I began to share parts of my life with this man that were my darkest, toughest times and similar times of those around me, and how none of it made sense to me either. That it wasn't asked if we could pray for him and his family, and both of us prayed hard for this man. We again began to just chit chat as we waited to get picked up. Luckily, this man did show true gratefulness for us taking time to come show him love.
This all was such a humbling experience. It was also eye-opening to realize something new for me to think about to share with you guys. I hope we can realize how important the name we carry daily is. That name Christ is no joke. When we carry that name people watch us. Whether people care to admit or not, they are dying to see if there truly is a hope out there in Christ. Unfortunately, that name, Jesus Christ, gets tarnished time and time again. Tarnished by people who claim the name but fail to walk the walk of Christ. This shows how important and vital it is for us to live for Christ. To constantly, walk in such a way that those who don't know Christ will come to know Him by the way we act and talk. That when people look into our hearts, they see the heart of Christ in us. It is a huge responsibility that we accept when we accept Him into our lives. We are called to live for Him, and every time we fail, we hurt that testimony for Him. So be aware of what we do and say, because we never know who is watching or listening. And those instances might be the only glimpse of Christ people get to see, so carry it right.
All in all, such an amazing experience. None of it would've been possible without Christ though. He gave us the strength and love to go out there and show His love. He is the reason we reach out, He is the reason for everything. As much as my heart breaks knowing what goes in my city, I also leave with a new perspective of gratitude for Christ. He is such a key part in my life. Every blessing I have is because of Him and His love for me. I spent the entire day heartbroken, but now while still heartbroken, I now have a greater love and appreciation for Christ. Now that brings tears and a true smile to my face. He is so amazing, so great, so loving, so merciful, so faithful, so powerful, so caring, just so perfect. I thank God for being God to me. I pray this all can be a new springboard for me to reach a whole new level in Him. I seek to become that much firmer in Him because He is perfect in everything. I pray the same for all of you. I ask that we strive to carry that name right, and that we also keep people like Juan and the fellow homeless in our prayers. There is such a great need and desperation for Christ in our city and its people. I pray that God does something great here, and I can already see it taking form. Now I pray that we all have the boldness and courage to step up and follow Him. I urge you guys along with myself to let's go and follow Him. I truly wanted to share this with you guys, not for any of my glory but for the glory of Christ. I don't care to show, oh look at me doing Christ things, but rather what Christ is doing in my life and the lives around us. Christ be with us all daily.
with love as always,