Grace and Grits

           I didn’t know what to expect when I walked into the doors of “Grace and Grits”. I certainly had never been closer to a homeless person than handing them a dollar or bottle of water out of my car window. I was nervous, and maybe a tad bit scared. Serving the homeless was well out of my zone of comfort, but serving isn’t about being comfortable.

       I admit it. I was a bit judgmental before last night.   In my selfish little middle class mind a homeless person really didn’t have an identity beyond that of “homeless”. I mean surely they were drug addicted alcoholic dead beats whose bad choices led to them being homeless. Oh how the mighty fell last night.

Pastor Jan reminded us before serving that these people were people just like ourselves. They have a name too, and an identity beyond that of “homeless”.   These were people whom deserved my respect as much as any stranger I come across in a day. They deserved my smiles, and my kindness. More than that, they deserved the love of Christ.   And last night the love of Christ was the hands and feet of those serving.   Christ love was literally in my hands and the steps of my feet.   I was humbled.

       I saw a lot that made my heart break. I saw mommies walking in with their hungry babies and kids. I saw young women, old women, younger men, and old men.   Homelessness and hunger affects young and old. Here is the odd thing. These people who had nothing smiled back at me. Me, who has a home, a car, food (probably too much) in my belly, and clothes (nice ones) on my back; I have everything. Again I was humbled. Being the hands and feet of Christ, and really realizing just how blessed I am, wasn’t what affected me most. No. It was the difference between their brokenness and mine.

         In MY eyes there is but one difference between their brokenness and mine. Theirs is evident, mine is not. I see their dirty clothes, their signs as they stand on the corners of my streets. I don’t know how they got to such a broken place. Maybe they made poor decisions that led to their homelessness. I may not be homeless, but I have made poor decisions with dire consequences. I have strongholds in my life, things that have kept me from living a life of joy. You can’t see it, but the fact remains. I am just as broken as they are.   And I am humbled again.

         Christ loves those homeless people just as much as he loves me. In HIS eyes, our brokenness is the same.   We have the same identity in him. We were all “Knit together in our mother’s womb. Fearfully and wonderfully made, a wonderful work, whose days were all ordained for us before one of them came to be. His thoughts about each one of us so vast, they outnumber the grains of sand.” (Psalms 139) In the eyes of Christ we are all the same. Precious and loved.  

       I went to serve but came away with a changed heart. I will now look upon the homeless person on the street corner as a person, with a name and an identity. A person loved just as much as I am, with great worth, despite our brokenness.

   “ Oh how he loves us”( David Crowder)….

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April 24, 2014. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized.

4 Comments

  1. Jan Puterbaugh replied:

    Mindy, I am deeply touched by your post. There was a time I looked at people from my eyes, but oh how we begin to truly live when we strain to see people through God’s eyes….not only were wearing God’s hands and feet last night…….you had on His glasses.

    You are very right, so many of are deeply broken and scarred. Also, many of us are deeply blessed. It is always interesting to me that as I develop relationships, talk to… and listen to my friends at Grace and Grits……most of them describe their life also as “blessed” ……and they are thankful for what have.

    I am humbled by your post and thankful for your thoughts and most of all, your heart.

  2. Aunt Ellen replied:

    Wonderful!!!!!

  3. Kevin McGuire replied:

    Mindy, Grace N Grits is filled with loving, generous, concerned sponsors and volunteers week after week after week. It is at GnG that gain humility and feel love grow stronger time and time again. The church is not a building, it is the people. We (I am a Catholic) are the church… all of us who are believers and especially those who act on those beliefs. Peace and Love, Kevin

    • mjscrogg34 replied:

      Kevin, that is very much evident each time I have served. I wrote this after my first experience there. G&G truly has changed my attitude and made me grow in humility.

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