A woman named Kelli, who I do not know, but follow on Instagram, recently launched a campaign called TIME=LOVE. It encourages us to just give people our TIME which in turn shows them our LOVE. Isn’t that so true? In conjunction with this campaign, she posted a story about a man she met. His name is Al. This story shook me. To the core. Because I still have so far to go.
“A few months ago, I noticed a man sitting outside of church–on the same bench–week after week. You know that feeling you get deep down inside….that prompts you to do something that you’re not always comfortable doing?! Yea, well that happened.
So, I walked up to this man who was sitting on the bench, with what seemed to be all of his personal belongings stuffed tightly in plastic crates, wrapped with bungee cord. I introduced myself and conversation grew effortlessly. His name was Al. And Al was awesome. His laugh was infectious and his love for people and Jesus was so inspiring. I walked away thinking he is the epitome of “Even though……I will” Whatever those dots represent between those words [I have no money, Lost my job, Living on the streets]….I WILL get back up. And getting back up meant small steps like getting to Church every single weekend. That was inspiring to me.”
(photo credit: Kelli from kelliandvanessa.com)
My favorite line: “You know that feeling you get deep down inside….that prompts you to do something that you’re not always comfortable doing?!” I’m pretty sure it’s following those feelings that always leads to things we could never imagine. Things that change us.
It’s one thing to raise money for the homeless, visit the places they live, say hello to them on the street, and give them money or food or in-kind donations. It’s an entirely different thing to stop, have a conversation with them, and give them our TIME and complete attention. To show we really care about who they are and what story they have to tell.
After reading about Al, I realized my heart still needs a lot of changing. And my willingness to be uncomfortable needs some definite work. I found myself wondering if I would have done the same in that situation. First of all, would I have even noticed Al? And, would I have stopped to talk to him? Like, really talk to him? And ask about his story? Unfortunately my answer was “probably not”. I need to change that.
You can read the entire article here. It’s worth it.
And on a sort of related note, I read an article about making donations to food banks that totally changed my perspective. Because I am completely guilty of being the person who donates whatever I just want to get rid of. Things we never got around to eating. Not putting much thought into the fact that there are people whose lives literally depend on the food donated to food banks.
Take a look at this article before you make a donation to your local food bank. It may change your mind about thoughtlessly throwing things in a bag or bin to make you feel like you’re making a difference. And it has great ideas on things they actually need.