With what shall I come before the Lord,
And bow myself before the High God?
Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings,
With calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
Ten thousand rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:6-8
Everyone wants to serve those in need during the holidays - it is easy to feel rewarded during this time of year, but are you doing it for God or for your own glory? This year, instead of or in addition to serving in December, call a homeless shelter today and find out when during the year they need the most help and schedule a time to come serve humbly for God when it would benefit the shelter most.
Watch the following video and learn how you can help, today and everyday.
Many of us have the desire to reach out to homeless shelters. But we don't know how. We might become discouraged when we find out that the positions for volunteers to serve during the Holiday meals have been filled months in advance. However, their needs run year long. Also don't forget that you were equipped with talents and spiritual gifts that could be used in a creative manner. Make yourself available. Perhaps you can teach a budgeting class. You can volunteer to babysit children as parents go to job interviews or school. For more ideas check out this list from the National Coalition of Homeless.
On chapter 37 "Cleaning Bedpans" from Disrupted, Gayla shares that a friend once told her that anyone could go to a hospital visit and pray for a sick person but the true test of character, and I would add of love, comes with the ability to clean the person's bedpan. In the same way we can also hand out money or even offer a quick prayer to the man in the street, but are we willing to serve them? And as we do, will the spot light be on us or will we stop and get to know them with no other agenda than to love?
And whether or not you choose to give money to someone in the streets, please don't look away. As Glena recognizes in the video, homelessness not only makes people vulnerable but it leaves them feeling like their humanity has been stripped overnight. A simple genuine smile can reaffirm and offer hope.
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There are an estimated 633,782 homeless people in the United States. San Diego has the third largest population of homeless in the country, after the cities of Los Angeles and New York. Special thanks to San Diego Rescue Mission for facilitating the interviews about this subject.