But there are some for whom Easter is a difficult time. You may see them on the street … or in your church. Some will have signs that tell you they can’t afford a meal. Others will be quietly laying out their bed on a piece of cardboard along the road. That single mom in your church may look happy, but may be tearful inside, praying that the other kids at church don’t talk too much about their Easter baskets, because she couldn’t afford any for her children. And a nice dinner? It depends on what was available at the food shelf this week. The man across the room from you in Sunday School who just lost his job and won’t tell anyone how frightened he is about how he’s going to provide for his family is struggling with Easter, too.
Homelessness is one of the underlying themes in Springs of Deliverance, which should be available by Easter. Much of it takes place in a soup kitchen. I hadn’t really thought about it, but when my beta readers began talking about what a great soup kitchen that was and how they had never heard of a ministry like that, I realized I should probably mention: Neither have I. But it’s something I’ve imagined for years and I thought I would just put it out there as an idea. Maybe someone will be a Mrs Rodriguez and pick it up. Someone with a prayerful heart for hurting people. Someone with a gift for organization and who can teach others to serve as if they are serving Jesus. Jesus Himself said, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” (Luke 9:58) Maybe someone will be a Renee Anderson and open her heart to those who are suffering. Maybe you have duffel bags you could fill and give to those who need help? Just remember to count the cost: Think about safety and how much you are willing to risk.
In the meantime, let me share some ideas you can do right now. They won’t cost much, but they will mean the world to someone. These are things some friends of mine have done. I’m pretty sure they won’t want their names mentioned so I won’t, but let me just say that this is the kind of life they lead: Not just a one-time “ministry,” but a way of life. This family was really my inspiration for a lot in this story — though I didn’t realize it until I was finished writing. (For more information about homelessness and things you can do to help, explore the links attached to these pictures.)
If you want to do a duffel bag, like the Andersons in the story, I would not leave a duffel bag in the park, as it could be suspected as a bomb. Giving it to a homeless person you see when you’re out driving is a good idea. Especially someone who does not have a sign up asking for money.
The Pocket Testament League encourages you to dedicate a pocket (in your suit, your purse, your briefcase, whatever) to sharing the Gospel. Carry a small Gospel of John with you in your pocket and pray that God will show you who to give it to or where to leave it. This can be a wonderful message of hope to someone who has lost all hope. (Click on the picture to the left to find out more.)
Isaiah Cadre Challenge: Pray and ask the Lord to show you who He wants you to reach out to. You’ll make more of a difference than you can imagine.
With love and warm wishes for a wonderful Resurrection Day!