So I'm truly practicing what I preach! After dropping my girls to school yesterday morning, I went on a mission (son snuggled up in his buggy) to seek out people in my local community who are in need. I had a bag with some jeans, a body warmer and a thick cardigan jacket courtesy of my brother who purged his wardrobe the night before and donated a large amount of clothes.
I headed out, praying to God as I went, asking Him to reveal to me who He wanted me to reach out to. First port of call was my local 'Savers' shop, (if you're not familiar, it's a bit like Wilkinson and the Pound Shop rolled into one). It stocks well known brands at great prices, so I bought toothbrushes, several pairs of gloves and a bumper pack of pocket sized tissues. Well you never know what someone might need do you?
I walked through the shopping mall and saw several people who caught my eye, in particular a lady with tears in her eyes, who looked directly at me and smiled, but before I could say anything to her she hurried off on her way, all the people I saw were not obviously down and out (not that they had to be), and they all seemed to be in such a rush.
Undeterred I hopped on the train, determined to find someone I could give to. When I got to my stop I felt led to walk away from the town centre and towards the local park. As I crossed the road I saw a disabled boy crossing the road with someone who seemed to be his carer, they appeared to come out of a building on the corner. I approached a lady as she was about to enter the building and asked her what went on there. She said that it was a home for disabled children whose parents were too ill to look after them. Wow! I looked to the heavens and thanked God for leading me there. I was amazed. I had driven past this building numerous times and never once had I really noticed it or known its purpose. I asked if they took donations of any kind and they said 'No'. Not giving up, I asked to take their contact details so I could speak to the managers and see if there was anything I could do for them.
With a bounce in my step I went to the park, hoping I might find someone to give the clothes in my bag to, but since it was so bitterly cold the park was understandably rather empty. I let my son go on the swings for a bit then made my way to another train station to get home, again hoping I'd see someone to help. On this occasion it wasn't to be and I ended up giving the clothes to two charity shops instead.
Today I went out armed with some more clothes, it was wet and windy and quite difficult to determine who I could help. I'm going to continue with this approach though. I know in time I will build my confidence and find people to help. And I can't forget about the home I came across. I'm excited to discover how deeply I'll be able to help out there!
I'm going to leave you with a blog post from Francis Chan's tumblr here. He is such an amazing preacher and he has truly inspired me to be a more radical follower of Jesus. Maybe you will be inspired to do something too.
Glory to God!