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


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



Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hearing the Voice of the Homeless, Visit #3 ;True Beauty

August 18, Keith and I made our way downtown to the square again and found Greg waiting for us.  Another festival was going on with booths set up all over the grounds, a live band playing, people all over the place, but this did not deter Greg from showing up.  I believe he is enjoying our visits as much as we are.  We brought chicken dinners for all of us, but only Keith and I ate.  Greg put his next to him, very appreciative of it, but seemed anxious to start visiting with us again. 

He started right off by telling us about meeting Maryellen.  Last week she was sitting in the square with a co-worker eating lunch when she saw Greg sitting on his bench, recognizing him from my stories.  She went over to him and introduced herself, telling him she and I were friends and neighbors.  She told him that many people including herself were praying for him and felt led to give him a gift.  He was genuinely pleased.  I’m sure the gift was appreciated but I could tell it was the friendliness of her coming over and talking with him that made him the happiest.

I was proud of Maryellen.  She told me that before the stories, she was like a lot of others; that she would have just seen him across the way and not made any effort to look at him; even less, talk to him. 

Keith and I saw a noticeable pep in Greg’s spirit.  At our first meeting, he seemed just a tad defiant and depressed, leaning over, head hanging down.  The second meeting, he seemed much better.  But this third time, he was sitting up straight and back up against the bench, smiling big, the defiance in his demeanor was nowhere to be seen.  He looked relaxed, happy, hopeful.

 I believe it is because people are talking to him now.  That first meeting he told me no one would ever look at him or talk with him, that if he was an ant, they would squish him into the sidewalk. But now he has people talking to him, like he is a normal human being.  If we were treated like the ant, always feeling stepped over, always feeling like we were about to be squished, our demeanor might be different too.  I know some would say it’s his responsibility for where he is and how he feels.  Maybe so, but when Jesus said to go out and teach and give and to love others as you would yourself, I don’t remember him telling us to check their moral scale before doing so.  And for some reason right now, the verse just came to mind about getting the beam out of my eye before talking about someone else’s.

Remember that song from long ago, “What the world needs now, is love, sweet love.”?  All it took was sharing a little of Christ’s love to relax this big guy, take away the furrowed brow, and seeing him smile BIG.  Nothing has changed about his circumstances but he is feeling love and hope now. That will put a spring in your step!   Sharing love is not hard.  It doesn’t cost anything.  It’s a commandment from our Lord. . .

“Love one another as I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
John 13. 34

I asked Greg what he enjoyed growing up.  He liked to draw when he was younger, and he has always enjoyed fishing, basketball and football.  He also enjoys cooking, although he has no place to do that right now.

I’ve never been into sports, but Keith likes to watch football and our son is starting WKU (Western Kentucky University) this fall which is just down the street from our square.  If you Hilltoppers see a gray haired man, big, dark man, and a woman reading a book in the stands, or writing, or taking pictures, that’s probably us.  Come and say Hi.

Remember, it’s the little things, sometimes the things that we take for granted, like saying hello, shaking the hand, a pat on the back that are so important.

He is still going to the little church.  He even invited someone to go with him! That really impressed me.  If a homeless, ex-con man who has not walked closely with Jesus can invite someone to church, I wondered about all the excuses those of us who do walk with Jesus have for not inviting someone to church with us.  I had to ask myself, when did I last invite someone?  I began to ponder. . .

I attended a meeting last week where 8 people from different organizations came together to start a new coalition on homelessness.  One of the ladies there was from Salvation Army.  I told her all about Greg.  She said to give him her business card and to come see her and she would do all she could to help him.  I gave Greg the card and he said he would see her Monday.  He also has a court date on the 24th to see if the judge will reduce his child support that he is paying as back child support that he didn’t pay while in prison back in his home state.  Remember, his daughter died two years ago.  He said if it can be reduced, he just might be able to have enough to get into a little hole of a place before winter comes.

Greg trusted us enough to give us an important number so we could get in touch with him whenever we wanted.  We trusted him enough to give him our phone number.  If he ever has to go back into the hospital, I want us to be able to go visit with him, and pray with him.  I want him to know there is at least one couple in this town he can think of as family.    I told him I didn’t want to lose him.  He smiled that big, happy smile and said, ‘You won’t lose me”, I ain’t goin’ no where.

Reminds me of another quote I’ve heard many times, from one who loves Greg more than anyone. . .

“. . .surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  Jesus
Matthew 28:20

He ain’t goin’ no where either!

I noticed the beauty of our town square as I looked around.  The light shining off the brick path,

gorgeous flowers blooming here and there,

and the iron benches scattered around.  Just as my pond had a special place in my heart, this downtown and epecially this bench will make me smile a little wider now as I think back about the beauty of my conversations with Greg, and the friendship that was built over these three visits.  Only from God could He bring this big man to me out of the blue, stating someone needs to write "our"stories.  Only from God could come the boldness and peace to meet this man and hear his story.  It wasn't hard at all, it was a joy.  Only from God could a big, ex-con, ex-drug dealer, ex bad dude and a mild, meek little woman who has been walking with Jesus for the last 37 years end up on a park bench telling stories, hearing the voice of the other, and praying together in the name of Jesus. The things that are from God. . .true beauty! 

I guess what I want readers to know from our visits with Greg is this. . .
Someone may look bad, scary, dirty, unreachable, but that is no reason to not approach someone with the love of Jesus.   (let me say here, always use reasonable discretion, but please don’t ignore).  In our God’s eyes, OUR sin is just as dirty as the next guys.  Only through the blood of Jesus are we, you and me, and the homeless person on the street corner or park bench cleansed white as snow.  It’s not from our morality, our social standing, or our level of income or anything else.  No one is better than the next.  We are all children of God.  Some are lost and need help to find their way home to the heart of Jesus.  It’s been told to us to go out and reach, go out and touch, go out and share, go out and love.

There are people out there that are lost, in more ways than one. . .some need to find their way home to Jesus, some need to find their way home to family, and some need to find a home with walls, windows, and a door.  Would you please continue to pray for them?

I'll end this with the words from former homeless man Denver. . .
                     “The truth about it is, whether we is rich or poor or something in between,
This earth ain’t no final restin place.  So in a way, we is all homeless – just workin our way toward home.”
Denver Moore


Reformed rebel said...

Kristin~~This has touched me more than you know. I'm so happy for Greg and you and your husband. How blessed you all are to have found each other!
‘You won’t lose me”, I ain’t goin’ no where, love it! Then what you said about Jesus...
He ain’t goin’ no where either! Tonight I needed to here that!! Thank you...Chelle

Lisa said...

Thanks for continuing to share your visits with Greg with us. I love what you said, that even though his circumstances haven't changed, his countenance and demeanor has changed because someone showed him the Love of Jesus. And He's inviting people to church. Wow!

r.elliott said...

Beautiful story...I love getting to "watch" this relationship...God's heart unfolding. We are all homeless...but sometimes we that live in houses can forget that...

Anonymous said...

I've really been blessed by this series, Kris. I've found that many homeless and poor are "stand-off-ish" at first because so often they are used in ministry. By this I mean that church groups and "do-gooders" pop in, do their "ministry thang" and leave. They do just enought to feel good...so they can get some brownie points with God. No relationships are formed. Greg is warming up to you because you are giving without expecting. If you only knew how much this means to him. He may never tell you, but rest assured, you are doing ministry the way it ALWAYS should be done. You make God smile...ear to ear! :)
{{{Much love sister!}}}

Lisa Maria said...

God bless your big beautiful heart Kristin! Look at what you've started.. all because of your obedience to Him! I can't wait to see what else God is going to do...and I'm sure His blessings are going to overflow!

Love & Hugs

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

"Same Kind of Different" was a wonderful and inspiring book. God has given you such a heart for the homeless! God bless you!!!!

Jedidja said...

Thank you for writing about him. This touched me so.

SuLeigh Hippie Chick said...

Bless you my cousin. I am so blessed to have the family I have. I am so proud and can feel your love for others through your writings. Much love to you and Keith.

lynnmosher said...

Beau-ti-ful, Kristin! So touching! Praying for Greg!

Jenn said...

Praise the Lord for Greg and for his change in how he is feeling! Tears welled up in my eyes as I read this. I am praying for him with all my heart! I know God has big things for this man!

Cindy said...

Thank you Kristin, for sharing these visits with Greg. They have lifted my spirits and caused me to think about life in new ways. Also, have you written two books, have they been printed (I just read the post below)? I featured a few writers on my blog tonight. I would be honored to read your words and share them with other's if that is a possibility?

Cora said...

I'm so late in getting over here! But I'm glad I'm here this morning to read this. I just loved Greg's statement that he ain't goin' nowhere! And Denver Moore's quote is just so wonderful! On day I was whining about something going on in my life, and a mentor of mine so wisely told me, "But my dear, always remember, we are not Home yet." I don't know how many times when troubles have come my way, I have told myself that I am not Home yet. I'm still praying for Greg. Little does he know what a change he is bringing about in my own life through all of this!!!!

Heart n Soul said...

Thought provoking writing ... Love your thoughts and thanks for popping by my blog :)

Quiltingranny said...

Stop by the Quilting Ranny for a chance to win a handmade Blessing bracelet by an amazing stay at home Christian mom following Gods will:

Jennie Morgan said...

I am SO enjoying getting to know Greg through your visits. It is an honor to pray for him, too! Exciting things are happening in that town square!!