For a couple of days I have had the blessing bags that our women’s bible study group made (well…they put them together…I was noticeably absent from the function, or so I’m told) They were made with the homeless in mind–they had toiletries and tissues, hand warmers and protein bars, cards of encouragement, a clothing item of some sort (socks or scarfs or knitted hat , etc.) and a new testament bible. I may be missing something but you get the idea. I was given them a couple of days ago and since that day had been praying about who to give it to and when I could do it. The days following being given the bags the streets seemed oddly vacant of homeless people as I drove to and from work and so those bags were still in my pilot. For me there was a lot of thought and prayer that went into the when, where and how I was going to give away these bags–it made me sorely miss the fact that I wasn’t with that group of ladies. God knows I was a bit odd about the different “requests” that I made around what that time may look like…related to when I was going to be able to give them away from the time of day to the location of where to find people who would be blessed by them…all requests and stipulations were due in part because of my pronounced fear of embarking on this journey alone…it was just silly. Though as I write that–God so knows me!
Anyway, for the last few weeks I have had Costco returns also in my vehicle, there were many times I had intended on taking care of them and for one reason or another, they lay in wait. I decided to go to Costco with the intent of returning the items, getting a pair of pants, a book and fuel. To Costco I went. I made it to the main doors there was a woman outside sitting on a flatbed in the foyer area. She said she was cold, hungry and tired–and wanted to know if I had money for a slice of pizza. I told her I didn’t have money on me but if she wanted to come with me I would get her some food.
My mind went briefly to the items I wanted to get…I didn’t necessarily need the pants…I really wanted the book…I still had a few more days, probably up to 5 days, for fuel…payday is in 8 days…hmmmmm…
As we were standing in line for the food we talked more and it was then when I thought about the blessing bags. I asked the woman of the group with whom was standing in line with me and I was taking with, if I could give the blessing bags to her as well. She responded with much enthusiasm! While they were eating I said I was going to grab a couple of things in the store and to please wait for me and i would give them the blessing bags in my car. As I went through the store I grabbed the paradox base layers and gloves–I found myself praying rather intently “God, this woman is sleeping in a tent and didn’t have any winter boots–she’s out in the cold and she doesn’t have winter boots… God if I get winter boots, I won’t be able to have enough for fuel…she needs some warm boots…” I didn’t know what to do but I decided that God would take care of me if I bought the boots so I went toward the front to purchase the winter items and ask the woman for the size she wore and then saw the manager I was talking to earlier about where her and her friends could go for rest moving towards her with a nice set of winter boots in hand! I laughed and giggled in thanks to my Father God to see the boots handed off to the woman. He had called a cab to bring the small group to a winter shelter and gave the woman the winter boots as he guided them to the cab.
The woman was in tears as my manager gave her the boots and in addition to that she kept thanking me profusely for the food, gloves and the warm layers. I just smiled and said you’re welcome–I looked toward the cabbie and I asked him to follow me to my vehicle because I had promised the woman in the back seat a blessing bag that was in my car and that I’d like to give her what I promised. He agreed. We went to my car, I grabbed the blessing bags and handed them to the woman and her companions through the window…which at this time she had tears pouring down her face and she kept telling me that I was her angel. I smiled and looked at her and I told her, I’m just a girl.
As I stepped away from the cab to walk to my car the cabbie asked if we were a church. I smiled and told him I didn’t know too much about the manager inside, in fact I was moved tremendously to see him give the boots. However, I do know that the ladies who put together these blessing bags have hearts that break for those who are homeless and trying to stay warm. He said “God bless you” and I grinned with a giant joy-filled smile and said, “Thank you! He sure has!”
I was overwhelmed to the point of tears at how awesomely God blessed me by bringing those people to me! To a place where I was comfortable and where none of my walls had been built up. In that act alone God completely took away my fear and worry that surrounded all that I had conjured up in my own head–and instead gave me opportunity to bless someone in the familiarity of a place I am at frequently! All I really know is that God saw my heart and that I wanted to do good and right and blessed me in abundance!
I did leave with my book and fuel for my vehicle–however, because of the amazing sales of winter clothing I was able to buy base layers, winter gloves and food for her and her 2 companions. It was amazing! I only had to forgo a pair of pants that I wanted (not needed) and I was able to be a blessing in a way that I have never had the opportunity to be prior!