Saturday, November 10, 2012

"Everyone Deserves a Warm Bed" (2011)

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"I am an invisible man. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids - and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.
-Ralph Ellison "Invisible Man"

When you think of the homeless, what picture comes to mind?  Is it the man walking down the street in dirty, torn clothes pushing a shopping cart?

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Or is it a picture of an old lady sitting outside a local coffee shop begging for your change?

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The images of homelessness do not stop there.  It has taken it's ugly face and affected the lives of not only adults, but also children.   

"If you look at homelessness today, you will see young people aging out of foster care, runaway youth, single women with children, chronically homeless men and women, young families and single career people who have lost employment during the recent recession, and veterans returning from recent wars. Homelessness increasingly affects families. In Nashville, 2,077 school children were homeless during the past school year."  

Homlessness in Nashville has risen 30% in the past two years.  Key Alliance's Site

There have been times when I, myself, have looked at the homeless and questioned what can be done.  I have a few ideas in my head, but honestly, simply having ideas without implementation accomplishes nothing.

Shamefully, I have no good reason as to why I have done nothing.  

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Homelessness has to end.

"No one should be without a bed.  They should not be sleeping outside on the cold, concrete sidewalks."

These last two statements are not my own.  They come from the lips of my son, Josiah.  I look at his heart for people that he doesn't even know and I am inspired to be a better person.

"Operation Sleep Tight" is his ministry this winter.  Out of his concern for the homeless, he is working on raising money to buy sleeping bags for the homeless.  Because in his words, "everyone needs to be warm this winter".

As each box arrives, Josiah has carefully brought each one into the house and opened them himself.

Since Saturday, November 27th, he has been able to purchase 15 sleeping bags!  We are grateful to all who have given donations & words of encouragement to this ministry.

Notice the tower of empty boxes behind him?  :)  

Each sleeping bag is a great reminder of loving our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:39).

Sergio and I are proud of all that Josiah has accomplished.  He is young, but he is not helpless.  He has chosen to do something.  It is up to Sergio and myself to teach him that this work is not about us, but about our Father.  And to Him, we give all the glory and honor.

"Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God."  Proverbs 14:31

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