As we have opportunity...
Galatians 6:10 has always been a favorite verse of mine.
I remember highlighting it when I was in middle school...
"As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people."
What a challenge...
What a beautiful motto for our lives.
We don't have to look far to find that opportunity.
A few years back, my husband, Jason, had the brilliant idea of bi-monthly date nights. We each pick and plan one.
His first ever suggestion was a homeless shelter. I'll admit my initial thought was,
"How romantic. 😐" But then I thought...well, why not?
We had been intentional about financial giving for several years up to this point and we knew that we wanted to further explore the idea of living generously, but I'd kept coming back to the lame idea that we just didn't know where to start. That was such a dumb excuse. I mean, c'mon. We have the internet. There is no reason we can't find people and places to invest in.
I googled "ways to help in the Twin Cities" and got 85 thousand hits. Really...it's not hard. We picked the Union Gospel mission and that led us to Naomi Family Center. We have been volunteering at this little gem ever since and it has quickly become one of our favorite places on PLANET EARTH.
This hotel was renovated to house women and children in transitional living situations.
Mostly, we serve supper here, but the last time we visited, we were invited to do some child care while the mommas went to a training
Jason got the older kids going on a VICIOUS game of Monopoly while I assembled legos (ahem...NOT my gifting, Lord, but I did my best) and colored pictures
When the heat of monopoly intensified beyond our ability to endure, we got adventurous and took the kids on a walk to a nearby park. They told us all about the different schools they had been in, how most of them didn't know their dads, which foster families they liked and how the food at the shelter in Chicago wasn't nearly as good as the food here
It was sad.
We listened and asked questions. We held their hands and told them they are dearly, dearly loved.
I learned that one wants to be an artist and another wants to "fix stuff".
At the end of the day, my heart was breaking but full, sad and happy, angry and overjoyed.
Before we returned them to their moms, we got bear hugs and high fives. We spent four hours of our lives and $50 on a sitter, but we received the deep down knowing that the promise is true:
Every ounce of good we pour out is multiplied over and over again, returned to us, a double portion pressed down and running over into our laps.