Welcome

Why a blog from me, someone who has never been a writer, someone who has never been articulate or had a solid grasp of the grammar world. Because God told me to write. Several years ago a life storm invaded my family. God kept telling me to write it all down. I argued, but He would not let up. This went on every day for a couple of weeks until one day out of frustration, (I'd like to say it was out of obedience), I picked up a pen and paper and wrote for 7 hours straight! Do you think maybe I needed therapy and God knew it?

I've been writing ever since and have learned to love it! I started out sharing my stories with friends and family. I've now been published in a Nashville church paper, Our Daily Journey (a devotional site of RBC Ministries), PCCWeb Daily Devotional, Ruby for Women Ezine Magazine, and I am a contributor in the book Alabaster Jars, Life in Abundance Collection 2.

Why Ponderings? During this life storm, God led me to a pond in the woods behind my home. There He met me each time, teaching new lessons, reminding me of old ones, showing His presence and allowing me to feel His love through the surroundings of that pond. I found myself returning over and over to ponder, pray and praise. A healing of my heart took place and out of the experience came my first book, Ponderings From the Pond, then a second book, Ponderings From My Porch, and now a third book is in the works along with a memoir about my storm.

Why am I making myself so vulnerable? Because God has done so much that I cannot keep quiet. I have to share. Jesus's last words to his desciples were, "Go,tell." We are his disciples too and this is just one of my ways of telling.

I'm no scholar but I have heard God's voice in my spirit, experience His love daily, and have a desire for others to experience this also. I would love to share with all who visit and I would love to hear from you. If my sharing gets just one to ponder, to be quiet with the Father, to see and hear from Him or to be reminded of something from Him, then this is worth my vulnerability.

As you visit me, sometimes we will be at the pond, sometimes we will move to the front porch, and sometimes we will just be here, there, and yonder. Thank you for coming and please feel free to come back anytime, you are always welcome here.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 19:14

*****EXCITING NEWS*****

My first book, Ya Know What I'm Say'n, has been released.


Ponderings

Ponderings

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Hearing the Voice of the Homeless ~ One Visit at a Time

*If you are new to my blog or have not been here in awhile, you many need to read the next to the last post, Answered Prayer, to understand the current post.*



July 2, 2011, I and my friend, my bodyguard, went to our downtown square to meet Greg, a homeless man who said he would share his story.

This was as my husband put it, an exploratory mission.  This was my first time to meet Greg.  I didn't know exactly how I would handle the interview.  I had a notebook full of questions, but I also thought it might be best to just let him talk and say what he wanted this first time.  After praying before I left home, I left it in God's hands as to how it would play out.  I asked Greg if I could record and he gave his permission.

I started out by telling Greg that I believed he was an answer to my six month prayer.  I told him how many of you bloggers said you were praying for him and were putting him on prayer lists.  This made him smile big and he said he could use all the prayers he could get.

He pretty much talked with me asking just a few questions to spur him on.  He whizzed through his 46 years of life in just a little over an hour.  Needless to say, I will need to spend much more time with him to get a full story.  But here is what I came away with.

Greg at first glance might be thought of as an intimidating character, but once you begin talking with him, a deeper and more interesting, less intimidating person comes to the surface.

In his eyes one can see a hard life.  In his eyes there is a sense of searching…a sense of need…a sense of desperation…and lack of hope.

I saw a man who had gotten so deep into a hole, he didn’t know how to get out.  I felt he was scared, angry, and depressed.  He knew where he was at because of his bad choices from the past, but now he is sick with cancer and wearing a colostomy bag.  I doubt anyone is going to hire him because of that.  He doesn’t have a lot of education.  He left home at 15.  He earned his GED in prison.

Greg has within him a desire to become a person who can take care of himeself, but because of circumstances, his ability to realize that desire has not materialized. Greg appears to be the kind of man who has lost his dignity, yet needs to retain an element of dignity for himself.  He is searching for a greater purpose, but lacks the education and experience to fulfill it.  His powers of observation seem to be rather strong as he recognizes the body language of the people around him…few if any ever speaks to him, even fewer show any kindness or sense of compassion toward his plight…probably from fear…most likely from simply not understanding.

There is a measure of loss in his life as he once had a daughter who apparently died when she was 19…I know nothing about the circumstances surrounding that event, but in his eyes, one can see the pain and  probably guilt he carries about what happened.

Greg seeks help from his plight, but finds only superficial and temporary assistance.  What he needs most is something that will allow him to regain a sense of self sufficiency which by itself will lift him above the stigma of being homeless.

Greg has become a survivor in a system designed to only sustain the status quo…he needs more than that…he needs something that will elevate his sense of pride in himself.  He has a strength inside that could be tapped, but life has suppressed the best of what he could give, and now only the worst of what he has become shows.

I did give him a bag of food but other than that I cannot offer him much tangible help, but I can offer friendship and I can give him the opportunity to have a purpose right now, and that is giving him a voice to tell his story in hopes that it can be shared somewhere, somehow, to help others, the younger generation, showing them how making wrong choices can lead to such a desperate lifestyle. This man said he wanted his story to help.  This man feeds the squirrels every day in the downtown square because he said he wanted to give back and this was the only way he knew how right now.  This shows me a man who still has a heart, a soul, and a spirit worth listening too.  He said people walk by him every day not looking at him, they could care less.  I want him to know that I care. I want him to know that someone is listening.

Greg kept saying that he hoped he would go to Heaven, that he hoped he would see his daughter again one day.  I told him I didn't want him to hope, I wanted him to KNOW that he would be there some day.  I looked down and saw the yellow, plastic bracelet I had received from my church the week before.  It had John 14:6 written on it, which says, "Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me."  I told this to Greg.  I slipped it off my wrist and told him I wanted him to wear it for me and to remember those words.  He held up his arm and let me slip it over his hand and onto his wrist.
I pray that he will accept this completely in his heart one day soon and will KNOW that one day he will have a permanent home, his sins will be washed away, and he will never have to be called homeless ever again.

We ended this visit with a prayer.  After I said "Amen" and raised my head, I noticed he still had his head bowed and whispered his own little prayer.

I’ve asked myself why am I doing this.  Why little ol’ me, a housewife and mother, is drawn to these people. Others have asked me this too.  Maybe I should just forget about it and walk away.  But I can’t.  My mind won’t stop thinking of them.  I believe God will not let it stop.  I asked God once several years ago what did He want me to do.  I believe He is guiding me one step at a time.  Showing me one piece of the puzzle at a time.  To walk away now would be abandoning what God has started.  And I am curious. . . what will this puzzle look like when all the pieces have come together?

I am anxiously awaiting my next visit with Greg
 Please be in prayer with me about this,
Thank you!



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20 comments:

Jennie Morgan said...

I'm sure Greg's story is much the same as many of the homeless. I appreciate his desire to make changes and to better his life. I pray that someone will reach out to him and offer him that assistance. He sounds like a very sweet and kind man, though broken..or perhaps because of his brokenness. I know God will continue to use you in his life. This is only the beginning....

Thanks for sharing.

f5b93712-3e82-11e0-947c-000bcdcb5194 said...

I am so thankful for your compassionate heart and your obedience to the Lord. You're right, when the pieces all come together, what a beautiful story it will tell. Keep walking one step at a time and please keep sharing with us. We are not all called to do what you do, but we are all called to love and share the love of Christ with others. Thank you for letting us come along on your journey, what a blessing to us all.

Lisa said...

Kristin, this story is so moving and is definitely making me think about the people I pass by everyday. Please let Greg know that there is one more person who is praying for him. And I am praying for you too!

My daily walk in His grace! said...

Hi Kristin. You are so right about God guiding us one step at a time. He will lead you to where He wants you to be. I continue to pray for you and Greg and anyone else you meet in your new God venture.
To this one person (in this adventure so far) you have made a difference and maybe we will all see him in heaven one day.
God bless
Tracy

Shanda said...

Thank you for following God's calling on your life to reach out to the homeless. My husband has had the opporutnity to build relationships with several around our area and we have had a few begin coming to church. I have had a few family members spend time on the streets so also have a heart for their plight. May God bless your path and continue to bring those into that that He wants you to minister to.

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

What a precious story. I was raised in the Salvation Army, and I worshipped side by side with some of these "outcasts". They each have their own story. So much of it is mental disease and hopelessness and addictions. It is very sad. You are faithfully doing what God has called you to do. To be AVAILABLE and to LISTEN and PRAY! Great job!!!

Jean Wise said...

Your words and Greg's story gives me goosebumps. Reminded me of the book I read a few months back, Same kind of Different as me - about a man who become best friends with a homeless man. very powerful.

You too have a beautiful blog. Glad we found each other over the internet.

Will keep you and Greg in my prayers.

Craig said...

your compassion, Kristin, I heart your compassion. I know exactly where that man is. The bag of food was just exactly the right thing – you never want to give up too much help before knowing a little more.

And it may just be very interesting to see how the jigsaw finishes up – it may have already :-) thank you for doing what you did, and thank you for coming and telling me about it – I didn't want to miss this :-) God bless you Kristin, and God bless each of yours.

PS excellent choice, I might add, to bring a bodyguard – seriously, I was a little worried – that helps. God bless.

Jen said...

You know, no matter what the whole puzzle looks like, I think you are making an incredible difference just in his life and that God is going to use him to make an incredible difference in yours, too. Praying for you, friend!

Reformed rebel said...

Kristin, I don't even know how to express what I feel when reading your posts about Greg and what you are doing. I will be praying for your ministry and for Greg. I am anxiously awaiting your next visit with Greg and what the Lord is going to do in both of your lives!

God bless you...Chelle

Nicole said...

What an amazing and moving post! I will continue to pray for Greg and for you. God led you to him for a reason and will see you through this and walk with you! God bless you!

*****Shelly***** said...

What a great story. I can feel your compassion for this man as I read the words on this page. What a gift you are....loving the unlovable, befriending the friendless, offering hope to the hopeless. I will definitely say a prayer for you and for Greg, that God might use his story and your compassion and willingness to reach a multitude. Blessings! ~Shelly

tinuviel said...

You have a beautiful heart. May the Lord guide your continued interactions with Greg and draw him into faith in Christ. This is very moving. I'm thankful you commented on my blog so I could follow you here to read your story.

P.S. I like the punny blog name. :)

Cora said...

Kristin, I read this yesterday, and I just couldn't find the words to respond. I've thought so much about Greg and YOU, your compassion and love. . .it moved me so deeply. Thank you for writing this, for sharing your heart . . . and Greg's. I have begun praying that the Lord will change ME and direct my heart and my steps.

Thank you for your visiting my blog today and leaving your sweet comments. You are such an encouragement!

Kristin Bridgman said...

To all you sweet commenters~
Thank you so much for your sweet words, they mean a lot. Thank you for your support and prayers for me and for Greg. Next time I see him, I will tell him again about all of you and how you are praying for him. He told me he could use all the prayers he could get :)
Thank you again for your encouragement, prayers, and love. . .I can feel it all!

Lisa Maria said...

Kristin.. catching up on some reading.. I'm so behind! You have such courage and compassion.. the Lord must be loving on you so much right now! I pray that you'll have the strength to continue this awesome journey He has placed you on. You know I'm praying for you and for all those whose lives you touch.

Love & Hugs from across the sea

Jenn said...

Kristin this touched my heart so deeply! God has lead you right where He wants you to minister to the broken hearts of the homeless. God Bless you and I will be praying for Greg.

Toyin O. said...

What a touching story, I will keep Greg in prayer.

"Ima" said...

What a beautiful story this is. So thankful that you heard God's call for you. There is power in telling their stories, for we all want to be known. You have a lovely heart. Looking forward to hearing more of these stories.

Denise said...

I can only imagine how Greg is touching your heart; your story is certainly touching mine! :) I have noticed that many times rather than a "hand-out", these people on the streets just long for someone to respectively have a conversation with them, and really listen. Thanks to you Kristin, for lovingly giving your heart and time to Greg, and especially for sharing Jesus with him! :)
Denise