Last week, we started a ministry in our church to reach out to the people of our community, and we were able to give clothes to thirty people. My heart hurt as I saw the clothes on some of the children that attended.
One young boy wore shoes that resembled Ronald McDonald’s, as his father’s worn shoes were laced tightly to his small feet. He played with a small Transformer that he had found in the bottom of one of the donation boxes.
“Wow, I can’t believe I found this. I’ve always wanted one.”
My eyes teared, but I discretely dabbed the tears away as I helped bag up the free clothes that he had found in his size. “You like Transformers, huh?”
“Yeah, I love ‘em.”
It seemed like he played with that toy forever, as I helped his older sister find some clothes that fit.
“You look beautiful, honey.” The mom smiled at her daughter, and I could tell from the look in her eyes that she had had a rough year, maybe even a rough lifetime.
The young girl hurried back to the restroom to get back into her own clothes, and I helped bag up the other outfits she’d found. “What about you, Mom?” I smiled up at her. “Did you find anything that will work for you?”
A humble smile spread across her creased face. “I’m just grateful for what you’ve done for us.”
“Come on. Let’s see if we can find you something too.”
My friend and I led her back into the room, and we worked to help her find an outfit as she began to open up and tell us her story of the sickness that her husband had endured over the past year, losing his job because he was unable to continue doing the work. She told of how their finances were drained and how they were barely surviving. It broke our hearts as she shared with us her story, and my friend and I prayed with her. Afterward, she smiled at us.
“No problem,” my friend replied.
“That’s why we’re here,” I agreed.
As they left, the boy tried to hand me the Transformer. “You keep it.”
“Really?” His eyes lit up.
“Really. He needs you to help protect him from the Decepticons.” The boy laughed as he clutched his new prized possession. “I’ll see you next month, and we’ll see if any new donations are in your size.”
The next morning, as I spent my time alone with God, I could not get the family out of my mind. My heart ached for them, and I lifted them up in prayer. I knew that the Lord already knew their needs, and I know that they are one of the reasons that the Lord planted into our hearts the idea for this whole ministry, but what if we had not been faithful to follow His will? What if we’d said, “This sounds like a lot of work?” What if we were willing to pray, but we weren’t willing to act? What if we’d just done nothing at all? What would we, calling ourselves “Christians,” make Christ look like to the world?
But rather, let us, the Followers of Christ, follow Him wherever He leads us, even if it is “a lot of work,” even if it doesn’t fully make sense to us, even if it means giving up a Transformer. Let us be the hands of Christ that comforts the broken hearted and binds up their wounds. Let us be the feet of Christ that goes to the lost and leads them to the Way Everlasting. Let us be the compassion of Christ that loves the unloved ones of society. Let us, Christ’s servants, deploy into action into a lost world searching for hope.
Now, I need to get to the store. There’s a Transformer that’s just waiting to be purchased, and he’ll tuck nicely into those donation boxes.
James 2:14-18 14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.