Saturday, January 15, 2011

Walk a mile in thier shoes...

So I came home from another grand shopping adventure at Target tonight and entered into a sleeping house. I was so excited to get new shoes and a couple of shirts for the kids. All the boys were nestled and my hubby is sawing logs. And as I traipsed in the front door, bags swinging gaily, I suddenly remembered that Brian would be going to the parks tomorrow to pass out goods to the Homeless.

Last year, when he went with the Men's Ministry from church, I loaded him up with a few bags of warm clothes and a couple of blankets. When he got back, he told me how quickly those things were scooped up and so he asked me to gather a few more things for this trip. I nearly forgot.

So anyway, I didn't know what else I could give, as I had just 2 weeks prior shed all of my unwanted goods at the Salvation Army. The only thing that came to mind was my *warm and puffy* jacket. I went to the garage to retrieve it to hand over to the cause. But I hesitated. I looked over the coat, noticed how great of condition it was in, how it looked nearly new, and even had a pair of matching gloves in the pocket. I hardly ever wear it, it's almost *too* puffy and hot in the Fall months, but it's one of those things that you keep around, "just in case". So I set it aside and set my sights on a bag of snow/winter things I had gathered together over the years. Whenever I would see a sale on gloves or hats, I'd buy 'em. Waste of money, really. We never go out to the snow or even like to be outdoors when it's cold, but I couldn't pass up a bargain.

"For the poor will never cease from the land;
therefore I command you, saying,
'You shall open your hand wide to your brother,
to your
poor and your needy, in your land..." Deut 15:11

I hunted and pecked thru that bag and found a couple of mis-matched mittens and knit gloves at the bottom. In my heart I figured "PPfft...these Homeless people would probably be glad to get even those." There were beanies and scarves too, but I didn't want to give those away, as they were hand made and also like new. Well you know.. I wear them *so* much in this dry California weather >>insert sarcasim here<<.

Last year B told me about how there were little kids waiting patiently for him to let them look in the box of discarded clothing for something of use to them. It broke his heart. He thought about how a couple of those kids were about our boy's age and splattering around in puddles as their mom waited in line for food. wet. in the winter.

Then I noticed next to the bag were M's little shoes. Oh how I loved his little feet in those Ralph Lauren suede deck shoes! He hasn't worn them in over a year, I honestly don't know why I even still have them, but I figured I'd toss 'em into the pile of giveaways as well. But what hit me, in a split second, as I was standing in my illuminated garage, with the laundry whirling behind me in a warm dryer looking at all the excess I just bought at Target, that these people have NOTHING. I'm here holding onto a warm jacket tonight, afraid to give it up because *what if* I *might* need it someday, while I'm wearing a warm sweatshirt and going to go to sleep in a warm house, and there is someone else out there that is cold.

So then, what on Earth made me think it was ok just to give my scraps? To hand over my unwanted/mismatched things as if I am giving my all and doing some big favor to humanity? I am (obviously) well fed, I am warm, I have more than one blanket on my bed, and I have *enough* to have crap in my garage that I only wear a couple of times a year (uh, yeah, that's why it still looks brand new!)

How sad.
I mean, really, how sad.

I still don't feel like I have that much to give. But I'll tell you what... I'm putting the dang jacket in the box. And I think even the new shoes I just bought at Target. And the brand new gloves and hand made scarves. I'll hand over my extra blankets and those little shoes.

Thank you God for giving me gentle reminders of YOUR heart. And please make sure the person that receives these things feels your love for them, Jehovah Jireh.


Anonymous said...

Really touched - that's an awesome story. Thanks for sharing your growth, rather than trying to hide what you wished you didn't feel/think at first. As Stephen Covey says, "That which is most personal, is most universal." I promise you aren't the only person who has had a full garage and not-as-full heart for the poor. I wish I was home to clean out my garage, right now. Inspiring

That daughter you're always bragging about - yeah, that's where she gets it from, by the way. Hooah!

~Dawn~ said...

Amen, my sister! Some's so hard to see the bubble we live in. So thankful that God is there with those reminders to look outside of our little worlds, see what's out there, step out. Sometimes it's painful, but the gain is so far beyond what we could imagine from life in our bubble. Thank you for following His leading and for sharing it with us.

Sherry said...

Thank you so much for sharing. It is awesome to see how God is working and moving, even in the mundane everyday moments of our lives.

Charlotte said...

I know how you feel. It is human nature to "gather" things and hold on to them. I look around me and see so much that I don't need. And why would I even want to take care of all this stuff! I think it is good for us to look for ways to bless others when ever we can. Thank you for the reminder.

Charlotte said...

This post really gave me something to think about. We are so blessed - most of us - here in America. We can just start taking our "stuff" for granted whether we really need it or not. Thank you for sharing your heart in this post.

MTJ said...

Hi Full Circle,

Thank you for sharing this story of giving. A couple of weeks ago I was standing in my closet and looking at all the shoes I owned. At one time, I would have no doubt thought it was time to buy some new color or style, but this day I was thinking of someone who could use a pair of shoes that were still relatively new. I wound up giving away six pairs of shoes, hoping and praying that they would be given to men or young boys who needed a pair of shoes.

Blessings and peace.


no spring chicken said...

Thank you for a very REAL post...

Blessings, Debbie

Hands to Work, Hearts to God said...

A great reminder for all of us, especially me, as I live in the Philippines. We have so many needy people here and I have too many clothes! Patsy from

Ginger~~Enchanting Cottage said...

Praise the Lord! You will put a big smile on someone's face with the shoes, and the things that you love that you didn't want to let go of. Thank-you for this post it truly makes be realize that I should give away my sloppy left overs but give way something that I would want myself.
God Bless,

Annesphamily said...

I learned many years ago when my hubby was unemployed that many people give their cast off items they are too lazy to put in the trash to foodbanks. I vowed when we got on our feet I would never give anything to anyone that I personally would not want. I always buy food for the food banks and I never throw in expired or bloated cans. I know firsthand how people give what they would not eat and I think it is so very sad. It is hard enough to lose a job or your home without people snickering about you. I try to remember everyone is fighting some sort of battle and I am so happy you gave what you did. I think sometime we just don't realize how little some people have and how important something nice and new can brighten their day. Thank you for sharing this beautiful Scripture and your personal story. It was so inspiring to read it. Thank you so much! Anne

Pamela said...

What a beautifully authentic story. So often I close my eyes to the needs of others without thinking about them. "I was cold and you gave me your coat..."


peggy aplSEEDS said...

well done, good and faithful servant! where i live, there are so many poor people so i really could relate to your post.