1) I never, from day one, 5 years ago, thought a blanket would fix homelessness. I only wanted to show compassion and the love of Christ to people who I knew needed that touch. I wanted to hand over something that said, "I care, I'm here to be your friend if you want. And to share another friendship I have with them and leave that heavenly friendship with them if they so desire."
2) I've discovered that when God touches a blanket or that pan of cookies, these become tools to open the door to share that love, that friendship, to share of the one friendship that goes beyond this world.
Think of a time when someone handed you a gift with love. Did it perk you up? Did it make you smile? It's the same with all of us. I've seen people who thought they had nothing to smile about and when handed a gift in love, I've seen those stoic faces turn into huge smiles. I've seen people who were closed off, suddenly open up and begin to share. This can be the beginning of a healing process.
That is worth the gift of a blanket or a pan of cookies!
One of our former homeless guests at the bridge went from living under the bridge as an alcoholic, to entering a rehab, became a recovered alcoholic, getting married, and they are now owning their own 16 acre farm with both having jobs and she re-enrolled at WKU. These are his words. . .
"I watched you all (volunteers at the Bridge Ministry), emulate the love of Christ. I decided when I was in rehab, I wanted to emulate His love also. When I did, my life started to turn around."
How was the love shown to him? Through a blanket, a big, green coat, accepting him as he was but letting him know he could be so much more. . .with Christ.
Christ touched him through the tools of a blanket, a green coat, hot food and drink out in the freezing weather, through hugs and unconditional love.
For those who are still critical. . .I invite you to come to the bridge and stand out in the cold weather with us, watch, and feel the love. . .look through the eyes of Jesus, remember that He was homeless himself. I ask you to imagine if one of your grown children were one of the bridge guests, would you not want them to be greeted with love, with a blanket, with a hot meal and guidance to lead them out of a dire situation? I would want that for my child. And as we are all God's children, I believe He wants that for his child too who is lost out there in the cold world.
My goodness, if handing a blanket over, or a pan of cookies, or whatever else the Lord leads to give, is used to bring a cold one back into the warmth, the warmth of many things. . .is that not worth it?
I say "Yes!" And those tools will continue to be given as long as there are cold people in this world.
God bless everyone who donates the blankets, the pan of cookies, and ALL that is given in love, including your prayers, in the name of Christ.
I believe you will see many in our eternal home one day who will come up to you and say
And if we have crumbs on our face. . .you'll know exactly who we are ;)