Mother Teresa said, “Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.”
I’m finding that ministry is just this.
Just today at the Clothes Closet a lady came in with her teenaged autistic son. He’s very tall and just a big guy. A gentle giant. He has a sister that has no issues and he has a mom that loves them both.
And… they are homeless.
The mom looked so nice with a scarf around her neck and a black sundress. Her son was dressed in shorts and a tshirt. They were clean. The daughter was away at a camp that she had gotten a scholarship to attend.
It’s just that they are homeless.
Once she found a few things for each of them she asked me if she could talk to me. As I walked from behind the counter she asked if I might have soap? Deodorant? Anything that might be a little extra?
I went to the area where we store extra items, found a few things and as I walked back to her she asked me if she could have a hug. As I hugged her neck she just lost it. Broke down. Hugged me tighter.
I asked how things are and she said that they are just place to place. On one friend’s floor, another friends bonus room… wherever they could stay so they weren’t on the street.
As soon as I mentioned a shelter I remembered… she can’t do that. Her son can’t stay with her since he’s a male, teenaged and autistic. He would be placed in an institution while the system tries to find a place for her and her daughter.
We walked outside and she continued to talk about working, losing her job due to her sons needs, working again, losing her job. She just feels trapped and she knows that I don’t have answers. It’s bigger than her and bigger than me, but it’s not bigger than our God. She DOES trust Him. She does know that He is with her, but she has moments where she doubts. She has times when she feels discouraged and hurt and afraid.
It’s in times like these that soap, deodorant and a few clothes feel like very small offerings. The mentioning of resources are small talk when TODAY she doesn’t know where their little family might stay and there’s a process that must be endured. I can’t say that I know that this lady has always made good choices or that she uses her resources wisely. I do know that in many ways we are the same.
We are women.
We are moms.
We know that God is real, loves us and is in control.
We don’t always make good choices.
We could sometimes just use a listening, non-judgmental ear to hear our story and affirm that some of our choices are not so terrible.
We need Jesus every. single. day.
That kind of ministry does not take a leader to come in and tell us what to do. It takes us being willing to admit that ALL we have is Jesus to offer and that He is enough. We have to believe it ourselves before we can give it away. We have to be willing to hear someone else’s pain and remind them that our God is a strong tower. One on one. Just you and them… and Jesus.
I remember when the pastor came to my house to tell me about Jesus when I was 10 years old. I was in the 4th grade. I remember him showing me what baptism was and him telling me that when I trusted Christ as my Lord and Savior that I would be able to trust Him with my very life.
Are we telling others? Are we faithful to remind people that, even in this day and time, He still holds everything together? We need to hear it and we need to tell it. We need to help others hold on to hope and we can do it all… one on one.