Be a Blessing

Weve all seen themdirty, disheveled, smellyand HOMELESS. As we drive by, we watch thempartly out of curiosity, partly out of compassion. We wonder; how did they get to that point? What is their history? Where is their family? When did it get so bad? Are there drugs involved? Were they abused? Have they been arrested? Are they hungry? Where do they sleep? Do they need medical attention? How long have they been on the streets?

Unfortunately, we also are skeptical. Is this a scam? Do they make more money than I do? If I give them money, will they just buy alcohol? Is this an act? Am I being a "sucker"? Why dont they clean up and get a job? Where did they get the materials to write that cardboard sign?

Some people hand them money out of the goodness of their hearts. They dont care if the sufferer is buying alcohol or making more money than they areit just feels good and right to GIVE! Some people rummage through their car to see what non-monetary item they have to give, and hand them a bottle of water or a granola bar. They dont want to "feed" the persons addictions, so they will give them something nutritionally "good". Some people dont look at the person on the corner. They try to ignore them and drive by, hoping the light will not turn red. Some people scoff, look the filthy person right in the eye, and move on with their comfortable life filled with a bitter, hateful feeling in their heart.

Which person are you?

This topic of how to help the homeless has come up in my moms group lately. We all feel compassion towards these less fortunate people, no matter how they got there. We want to do something that will be loving and helpful, yet not make anyone feel compromised in their giving. Weve decided that we are all making "Blessing Bags" to keep in our carshanding them out when we see these homeless people. We will make them as a group. We will make them at home with our children. These bags will enable us to spread LOVE and JOY to others and to be a compassionate, loving example to our children.

 

What is a Blessing Bag?

A Blessing Bag is a bag that you assemble and keep in your car. This bag contains useful items that will help another human being. You keep it in your car and hand them out as you see a need. You may put whatever you want in this bag. Here is a list of suggested items:

 

Gallon size Ziplock bags (put items in here)

Chapstick

packages of tissues

toothbrush and toothpaste

comb

soap

trail mix

granola bars

crackers

water

pack of gum

band aids

mouthwash

coins (could be used to make a phone call, or purchase a food item)

wet wipes

you could also put in a warm pair of socks or gloves, and maybe a Starbucks gift card

 

Assemble all the items in the bags, and maybe throw in a note of encouragement. Seal the bags and stow in your car for a moment of providence.

 

 

 You can get together with a group of friends, each bringing a different item and assemble the bags together. You can do this as a familywhat a wonderful teaching tool for your children. This teaches compassion, love, respect, and humanity!

The basis of this exercise is that we Love our Neighbors as Ourselves. What if you were homeless? How would you want to be treated? Would you want somebody to stare you down and drive past? Would you be so thankful if someone handed you a Blessing Bag? I looked in the Bible to see what I could learn from this. Do you know that it has the phrase, "Love your neighbor as yourself" over 10 times? This is such a strong statement. To treat someone as you would want to be treated.The Golden Rule…How Powerful! Here are a handful of examplespretty important "law"!

Leviticus 19:18 Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people. But love your neighbor as yourself.

Romans 13:9 and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: love your neighbor as yourself.

Matthew 19:19 Honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.

Galatians 5:14 The entire law is summed up in a single command! "Love your neighbor as yourself".

James 2:8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, Love your neighbor as yourself.

 

The Challenge: This week and beyond Lets Love our neighbors as ourselves. Lets have compassion to those less fortunate. Lets make our Blessing Bags with our friends and our children and teach compassion, love, respect, and humanity. Lets keep our Blessing Bags in our cars and distribute them when we see fit. Lets make more when we run out. How powerful are we who show Love to our neighbors?!?!

 

Be a BlessingLets Love our Neighbors as Ourselves!

 

Comments

  1. I admit that I fall into the category of giving a nutrition bar or a bottle of water to those on the corner with a sign saying “Will work for food”, because that’s usually what I have in the car. Also, I believe that no one should be hungry; although, I have never given them cash. Your idea of a Blessing Bag is brilliant, especially putting some kind of toiletry in it so they can clean up a little.

    One positive story I have is when a man approached me for money to buy a muffin and coffee as I was leaving a nice Italian restaurant. I asked him are you really hungry? He said yes. I said hungry enough for a meal instead of just a muffin? He said yes. I took him into the restaurant where I just had a meal. He ordered spaghetti, meatballs and a coke. I paid for it (about $12) and left. I think the restaurant was a little miffed about their disheveled patron. Oh well, too bad.

    Another time I was “accosted” in the parking lot of Costco by a man wanting to wash my car windows so he could buy food. He kind of scared me, actually. Again, I did the same thing as my previous story, only this time it was a Costco hot dog and drink. He ordered ice cream too. I thought that was funny.

    Great post Deanna. Great ideas. You ARE spreading the LOVE.

  2. Erin Rose says:

    I love your idea of the Blessing Bag! It is positive and good in every way.

    I thought I would share a story. I believe it was this last October. I was driving through town, 8:30 at night. I saw a car in front of me with their brake lights on and realize there is a man lying in the road. That car ignores him and continues on their way. (This is a 5 lane road; 2 lanes one way, 2 the other, and a center turn lane in which the man is laying) I am driving in the left lane, pull up next to him, stop put on flashers, and park right there. The man is homeless, drunk, on crutches, and has fallen down and can’t get up. I am out of the car helping him collect his crutches, and can of something alcoholic. I at first try to hold his crutches in one hand and help him up with the other to no avail. ( I have to tell you I was there in my heels) At this point one gentleman runs over from the tire shop and another stops his car behind mine and gets out. I hand one of them the crutches and help the man onto his feet. After finding out which side of the street he was heading for we help him to it. While talking to him we find out that he had a heat stroke and passed out about two weeks prior and had suffered a head injury. I knew he had been drinking, but between his inability to walk on his own with the crutches and the recent head injury I called the EMTs. They came, checked him out, said they couldn’t do anything, and left. I was glad I and another waited. The man was heading to behind some trees at the Taco Bell. The other helper assisted him in making it over there. I sat wanting to do something for him. At the time I was moving. It was getting cold at night and I realized that I had a couple moving blankets in my stuff in the car. I grabbed one and went and gave it to him.
    I did not know anything about this man. Where he came from or what he has done. I did not judge him for his appearance or drinking. I just saw someone in need of help and stepped up. He was so grateful! As I left I felt so good. The feeling I had from being there for someone at a time of need was indescribably wonderful. It is the kind of feeling that could be described as being surrounded by, or close to, God.
    During the days after, sharing my story, I was shocked at the responses I got. I was sharing so people could understand the happiness I had felt, but all I heard were people say they would have been too afraid or other comments along the same lines. I did not under stand.
    I am so glad to see your words. Words that inspire others to do what is right. Thank You

  3. I am going to go for it and have the boys help!! Thanks

  4. I’m sure i’ve been all three-but, the more I remember that i’m doing this because i want to glorify God and for no other reason, then their circumstances (whether legit or not) do not come into play. I just smile and say God Bless You-they could be an Angel…..

  5. Gigi Peterson says:

    OK, so I will be totally transparent, I am so guilty of being skeptical. And also guilty of being fearful. I don’t want them to approach my car with my little girl in the back. What if they scare her? What if they do something to scare me? What if they reach in the car? What if this is all a ploy to carjack me???? Is this rational? Is this really fear? So going back to the Emotional Guidance Scale from last week, I can break down how I really feel. #22 – FEAR-I’m going to move away from this and up the scale in a positive direction. Maybe #15 – blame-I blame them for being in this position. #13 – doubt – I doubt they really need help. #10 – Irritation, frustration that I feel as if anything I do won’t make a difference. OK, this is good, I’m moving up the scale! #5 – optimistic – I can choose to be optimistic that they will appreciate this blessing bag. #4 – I can have a positive expectation that it may touch their hearts in some way. And #1 LOVE – I can choose to love my neighbor!!! Yeah, I like that. That feels good. I will give that a try. THANKS DEANNA!!

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