Shelter from the Snow

DSC05700From Joe Paschal, Outreach Pastor: 
There’s a foot of snow on the ground outside as I write this post. I’m very thankful for the warm house, clothing, car and office with which God has abundantly blessed me. When the weather is like this, I tend to feel “more thankful than usual.” A few days ago, I spent the evening at the Cold Weather Shelter. One guy said he’d been sleeping in a tent in the woods for a few nights, but he’d decided to come to the shelter this particular night. He and I continued in our conversation. We ended up discussing kindness and generosity and what the Bible says about them. He was very knowledgable and accurate in his understanding. I confess. I was surprised. He went on to say that although he shares what he has (which is food stamps), he wants to make sure he’s sharing with the right attitude because the condition of his heart is the most important thing.

At that point, I was fascinated by his desire to have the right motives and to be kind to others. I guess I was expecting him to be depressed about being homeless and blame others and “the system” for the injustices keeping him down. I said a few things to try to encourage him. However, even though he may not have known it, his words were encouraging–no, his words were challenging to me. Pretty soon, our conversation ended, and he got ready for bed and went to sleep. When the late shift crew showed up, I went home. But I have thought about that conversation many times in these last few frigid, snowy days.

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