No one comes into our lives by accident...I am a firm believer in God being the Master planner. This is long...but worth the read!
Seven years ago, a guest came to Hospitality House. He had been living outside in the dog park in Cedar Falls during the winter for several months. On Sunday, he would go to TWO church services...not only food for the soul, but definitely warmed the body with the hot chocolate and cappuccino that they had to offer. At one of the churches a man offered to take him to lunch one Sunday, not knowing that he was homeless. Our guest never told him he was homeless...not knowing what the reaction would be toward him.
Our guest stayed here at Hospitality House for a couple months, sleeping in the basement on a cot when his time at the overnight shelters expired. He had gotten a third shift job and was saving his money for an apartment.
When he was moving, he cleaned out his backpack, and found THE pair of sox that he had when he arrived here. The one and only pair of sox. They were tattered, torn, worn and thin. Almost shreds. He was going to throw those sox away. NOT SO MUCH!! Those sox say a thousand words about the life of a homeless person., THey now are proudly displayed in a shadow box on the dining room serving table. A reminder to everyone about the hardships of homelessness.
Recently, Candeo Church was serving a meal here. I started to tell the "sox story"...and one of the men serving spoke up, and said..." I remember this man. He was coming to church alone each week, and I just felt a push from God to approach him and offer to take him to lunch. " He even remembered the homeless person's name after all these years passed. I was able to tell the Candeo server that our guest had talked many times about the kindness of someone taking him to lunch...that was a gesture that touched his heart and life forever.
I was able to give this person a copy of the picture of the sox.
We never know how a small kindness on our part will touch the life of someone forever.....I know that God put this person in place to serve last night here.
Emmanuel ...The Promised One.
The Promised One will soon be born again this Christmas.
The Promised One will be born again as a homeless babe in a manger in a stable because there was no room at the Inn.
Yes, Jesus Christ..The King..The Promised One..The Lord and Savior of the World...was born homeless to Mary and Joseph on that cold winter night over 2000 years ago.
No room at the Inn…..how many times do our people in our city and in our country...the land of plenty and the land of opportunity hear those very sad words...Sorry..there is no room at the shelter tonight.
You have used up your time here... we are not giving you an extension.
If we believe those words that Jesus taught us…”Whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers that you do for me…” how can we turn our backs and our hearts on those in the homeless situation? How can we in good conscience, if there are beds and space available, say that there is no room at the Inn tonight?
Each and every person, rich and poor, is created in the image of our God.
As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ, the King of Kings, let us keep in mind He is the reason for the season…He is HOPE. He is LOVE.
Each day, we at the Hospitality House try to be hope for the hopeless...to provide love to those that are shunned.
We are called by Christ to be that love to all…
We must not say “Sorry...there is no room at the Inn.” Instead, we must say.. ’Please come in..we have prepared the way.”
Bloom where you are planted! We've all heard those words. Ever think about it in relationship to someone in a homeless situation? Sometimes, we have trouble blooming...with lots of care and nuturing from our enviornment and our friends who are there to help and guide us. Put yourself in a situation where you either are staying outside or staying in an emergency homeless shelter...new to the area, broken family, maybe just out of the correctional system, maybe facing an addiction and trying to overcome it, jobless...and you are trying to "bloom".
Not an easy task. That's what we try to help with at Hospitality House...we try to be the care and nuturing, the fertilizer if you will, trying to replace the rocky soil with firm, new soil... that helps our guests to bloom again...both emotionally and sustainably...to grow, to become self-sufficient.