The Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
For about 18 months, I was privileged to serve on our church staff as director of outreach ministries. With about twenty lay people, I created CareCommunity to develop relationships outside the church walls. Our purpose was to walk alongside a hurting population struggling with physical, spiritual, and emotional needs.
When I moved from my staff position to lay leader, I wasn’t sure how this ministry would take shape for me. But God knew. I soon found myself in partnership with women from five different churches. I wasn’t really looking for this group; each person showed up at the same time with the same mission! The emails started flying between us, we had our first meeting at a local restaurant, and God’s plan unfolded.
Each woman in this group has a huge heart and a Micah 6:8 mindset with perhaps one exception.
I was driven more by a sense of duty than compassion. Like the old saying goes, I just wasn’t feeling it.
I felt disconnected to the people I served. It was not a good place to be.
Shortly after our restaurant meeting one friend in the group, Janet, called me with a request from a Mom she was mentoring. No matter how I’m feeling, I’m rarely able to ignore an opportunity to help. So I shrugged off the lack of connectedness. Besides, the Holy Spirit said respond, respond now. The need was simple: a pair of shoes for a four year old boy named Aiden. His wardrobe consisted of hand me downs from his big brother. Unfortunately, brother’s old shoes were two sizes two big. Janet and I decided to pick up Aiden that day and take him to a second hand shop to purchase a pair that fit. Aiden was delighted to play in shoes that didn’t slip off his feet!
After returning Aiden to Mom at his apartment, Janet told me how she came to know Aiden’s family. She met them when they entered the county homeless ministry five years ago. Homeless and hopeless, this particular Mom, Dad, and baby found temporary housing at local churches, and thankfully, my friend.
Beaming with joy, Janet told me how this little family worked to stay together, had two more children, and maintained a small apartment on their own. Currently the mom is working toward her GED and the dad is finding some steady jobs. The kids are doing well in school.
Then Janet said, “It’s amazing how giving people a little hope goes a long way.”
Immediately something stirred within me. That’s when I connected, when I felt something more than an obligation. This thing called hope was my common ground.
I know what it’s like when someone gives me hope. I know how it feels when someone believes in me. I’ve been in that dark place when I couldn’t see light and someone hung in there with me.
I know hope.
I told Janet, “Isn’t that what we’re all seeking? Everyone needs someone to give them hope.
I’m going to be that someone.