Is this not the fast that I choose, to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer.” Isaiah 58:6-9
Thanksgiving is fast approaching. Lots of plans are being made. Happy plans, stressful plans–plans usually involving family and food. But, I don’t want to forget God’s plans in the midst of my own. He said in Isaiah 58, “Share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house…” And he promises that when we do things such as these, “your light shall break forth like the dawn…your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.” That’s pretty straight-forward. I know the abundance of food at my house next week will likely be way more than we need. Even with 19 people eating at our tables, I have no doubt there will be an over-abundance. It’s a perfect time to include someone who likely won’t have anywhere nice to go that day.
I see him every week…sitting by the stoplight on the corner in town. He’s homeless. He’s a war veteran…if the sign he carries is true. He is a city-dweller who has no home. I want him to join us next week, if he’ll agree. It’s been on my heart since we moved back to the USA two and a half years ago–how to reach more and more beyond the four walls of my home and church–not just financially, but with my own hands.
There are several homeless men who we see each week on our drives through town. I have never stopped—mainly because I am either alone or have at least one of my teen daughters with me, and quite frankly, my husband doesn’t want me stopping for safety issues. So he’s going to join me in asking this man to dinner next week. I know one meal will not fix all of this man’s problems, and we will be likely walking into a situation that will be over our heads–discipleship is meant to stretch and conform us to the image of Christ–but we must try. So pray with me as we attempt to reach out to our community in this small way. And maybe consider in your own heart during these upcoming holidays, how you can extend your hands in loving ways to those living right around you…homeless or not. Perhaps your neighbors are elderly and lonely…or recently lost a job—consider how God can use your hands to touch their lives. I know many of us volunteer at soup kitchens, shelters, and the like. Keep it up! Let’s remember, with the strength that He supplies, to keep God’s mercy-heart for people in all of our plans. We have been so blessed, dear ones.