Last week was somewhat of a blur for me. I can remember that I slept good every night. Probably because my days were so full. I'm thankful for the activity, and I was especially thankful for the sleep. But to be quite honest, blogging was not on my radar at all. I know our lives are not as busy as some people, but we do stay pretty active and on the go. I was trying this past week to set up a time that I could speak with our adoption counselor at BCS, and I was telling her when I would be available, when wasn't a good time to call, and all that. When she and I finally spoke (Friday morning while I was shopping in Dollar Tree), she said, "You sound like you stay in your car and on the go quite a bit." Yeah, I do. I won't share my weekly schedule, but I do travel a lot during the week.
Which kind of brings me to what I'm blogging about today.
I see a lot of people while I'm out. People I'm meeting for various reasons. And people who are asking for monetary donations or food or work. One day last year I was out running errands and shopping. I had just come out of Target. I was walking to my car and a man approached me and asked if I could help him and his wife. He was asking me for money. He was dressed in a shirt that was far too large for him. He looked like he'd not shaved or bathed in some time. He looked like a lot of the men I've seen sitting on the side of the road holding signs asking for donations. I had some money that I keep in my car for such situations. I've given money to people in need before. But that day I told him no, I couldn't help him. I jumped to a quick judgment that he was probably not going to use the money I gave him for anything but alcohol or drugs. I made that judgment just because of his appearance and what little history I thought I'd had with people who looked like him. I hate to even admit that, but I did. I made a quick judgment and told him no and walked away pushing my buggy full of things I can't even remember buying.
I left Target and went to my next stop. But I couldn't forget that man.
I called Reagan, in tears, while still in the next store on my list. I told him what happened. I told him I needed to go back and see if I could find that man. So, I drove back to Target and drove all around the parking lot looking for him. I looked to see if there was anyone in a parked car that looked like him. I drove to the lots of nearby stores and looked. Then, I parked and went back into Target and looked for him. I never found him. But I've never forgotten him. I've prayed for him many times since that day. I've prayed God would forgive me for my disobedience that day. And that He would forgive me for my pride and selfishness. I've even prayed that God would give me another opportunity to say "yes" to someone else like him. And God has from time to time. But, as I said, I've never forgotten that man. Whether he, or the next person I come across like him, uses the money I give them for food, or alcohol, or even drugs, I'm not accountable for that. I'm accountable for obeying God when He presents opportunities for me to be His hands and feet.
I've prayed for other ways that we could minister to people like him, and so many others that Sara Madalin and I see on an almost daily basis. Then, a few weeks ago (or months - I can't even be sure what day it is half the time, much less how much time passes), I saw a friend mention on her blog that she had made what she called "Blessing Bags" with her son. Then, I saw more information about them on Pinterest and I pinned them in hopes that Sara Madalin and I could put a few together. So, Friday, while she was at school, I went to Dollar Tree and picked up enough supplies to put together 4 bags. I'll tell you what all I bought to put in them in a minute.
First, and probably the most important thing we put in them was a small book of John that I picked up from church. They are palm size and a simple, easy read.
Along with that, I put in the following:
- rain poncho
- wash cloth
- hand sanitizer
- hand lotion
- beef jerky
- peanut butter crackers
- granola bar
- snack mix
- a comb
Here's one of our finished bags.
I made up four of them - two for Reagan's car and two for mine. Sara Madalin and I prayed that God would give us someone to pass these along to in the coming weeks.
And just as an aside, I would love to tell you that when I told SM that we were going to do this "project" that she was all like, "Yay Mommy. Let's do something for those in our community that are less fortunate. How can I help?" But she wasn't. Once I put everything out on the counter, her first requests were for some of the mints and gum. She couldn't understand why those things were in our house and they weren't specifically for her. She's only 3, but hopefully she'll soon learn that when we make things up to give to other people, it's for other people, not us. My prayer is that by doing these things and teaching her to serve others, that someday she'll have a heart that is giving and sensitive in ways that mine may not be.