How many of us have ever said or thought “If I could do that again I would do it differently.”? And how many of us actually get the opportunity to do it again? Well I’m very fortunate and I got my second chance; and I got out of the truck.
I’m sure right now some of you are like “um…you got out of the truck…great…..did you fall out last time?” No! I sat in it and cried the whole time. Let’s take a trip down memory lane.
My church is a new (we launched it in Sept 2011) and small church. However, we are NOT letting the adjetives new and small define us and prevent us from doing what Jesus flat out told us to do. Last Christmas morning, we headed downtown with backpacks filled with toiletries and breakfast burritos and handed them out to the homeless community here in Austin. I was terrified. I stayed in the truck. I cried the whole way home b/c I was ashamed of myself. I allowed fear to cripple me and prevent me from helping out in something beautiful. That day I vowed that next year would be different. Read that blog here.
Fast forward one year.
We headed downtown with backpacks and breakfast burritos again this year. We did it a little differently and bypassed the toiletries and put gift cards to McDonalds and bus passes in the back packs. For those of you that are horrified that we gave out McDonalds gift cards get over it. McDonalds is delicious and $10 goes a long way there and people will be able to eat or get scolding hot coffee for days.
We were a little more organized and prepared this year; last year we didn’t have a clue! I’m not saying we are all of a sudden experts at this but we were able to form a line and have crown control and last longer than 5 minutes.
This is a family event. Many of us have small children and we put them to work. We had bags of homemade cookies and we had the kids hand them out to people while they we in line waiting for backpacks. Once everyone went through the line we still had a ton of burritos left. We let the kids help us hand them out as well. They walked up to the adults, asked if they wanted some burritos. Everyone was so polite; they said thank you, the kids said your welcome. They gave smiles and high fives. Not everyone got a backpack but everyone got something to eat!!!!
This wasn’t just about handing out stuff; it’s also about going down to their community and taking the time out of our busy lives and sharing a morning with them. The homeless community is an invisible community. Sure we all “see” them on the corner with a sign, but do we really see them. Do we roll down our window and talk to them? Do homeless people actually have conversations with those of us that have homes?
A man asked me how old Danica was. I had D answer him and she said “5.” He then proceded to tell me he has a 5 year old daughter and and when he and his wife get their home next month they will get her back. He then pulled out some pictures and showed me his kids. They have 5 kids and will get them all back in January!!!! The tears filled the mom eyes as she said “all I want for Christmas is my babies.”
Another man asked me if I heard about the tragedy in Connecticut. We talked about that for a little while and it turned into a gun control conversation.
There was a man there with a guitar and D was scoping him out but was too embarrassed to ask him to play something. Later we saw him playing and she was so excited and we went over and he was singing worship songs with Tracy.
One guy told Anthony he likes his Texas Longhorns shirt. So Anthony gave it to him. He literally gave him the shirt off his back.
I love my church! We aren’t letting our size prevent us from doing what we know we should. No excuses! I failed epically last year and I’m so thankful I got a second chance. And next year I’ll get a third chance and then a forth chance the following year…get the idea?
By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:35
Thanks for allowing me to share my world with you….welcome to my brain.