With cart in tow, Maggie entered the building with all of her belongings neatly tucked into compartments in her wire mesh cart. To get a little relief from the cold, she found shelter in an alley accompanied by some of her fellow homeless who were huddled around a barrel burning with scrap lumber and paper.¬† As she settled in a spot atop a palette covered with newspaper she covered herself with the only blanket she had, pulled out her hand made sign and cup and began to beg for money from all those who passed by.
There were some who looked with loving eyes and dropped a few coins in her cup as they passed by while others turned away, hugged the opposite wall and tried to avoid recognizing that Maggie even existed. Many claimed to have no money and walked quickly by. How many times had Maggie felt rejection? How many times had she felt the pain of no one caring? How many times had she wished for just a glimmer of hope?
“Missed Opportunities” was the theme for Warwick AG as they made an effort to bring about an awareness of the needs of people all over the United States. Their vision was to help ‘Everyone’ realize that they can make a difference in a person’s life by becoming personally involved, not only through their giving but also through doing.
The all purpose building had been transformed into a soup kitchen and homeless shelter. As people stood in line, patiently waiting their turn, a meal was being served consisting of chicken rice soup, mixed vegetables, cheese, fruit cup and yellow sheet cake. Each person picked up a lunch tray, their foam plate and plastic utensils and walked through the line as volunteers served the food.
Thousand and thousands of men, women and children depend on this experience for their existence and we have the opportunity to make a difference. But, are we taking advantage of those opportunities or are they missed as we pass by on far side not recoginizing the needs of the homeless?
The people at Warwick AG are being proactive as they develop ways to help the less fortunate and to be involved in their community, giving hope to the helpless.
It was my privilege to help the children of the church seek out opportunities and ways that they could also be part of giving hope to those in need. I was able to share Galatians 6:10, “Whenever we have opportunity, we should do good to everyone.” Esau was our example of a person that missed his opportunity by giving away his birthright. He could have helped an entire nation but gave it away for a bowl of gumbo. We talked about how difficult it is to see the needs around us when we are constantly looking at ourselves. We need to see through Jesus’s eyes. He never saw himself because He was always looking at the needs of others.
That entire weekend gave me opportunity to share the missions in our own backyard. We can’t ignore the people around us that need our help. Whenever we have opportunity we must do good to everyone. On any given day there are 200,000 children homeless in the United States. In a given year there will be over 1.3 million homeless children. None of them are there by choice, circumstances have driven them to the streets with their families. It’s time for us to respond to these needs as Jesus responded. With love!!