It’s amazing the little things we take for granted as we live our everyday lives. For instance, we met a woman today who was reminiscing with a friend about Old Christmas movies. You could see in her eyes that she really missed being able to simply come home from a long day and relax in the safety of her home while watching a good old fashioned heart-warming Christmas movie. Though her eyes seemed sad, she never stopped smiling and laughing, even as she confessed, she hasn’t watched TV in 2 years. Now some could say, “Well, that’s good. I don’t watch TV myself either.” But the bottom line is, it wasn’t about not being able to watch TV in 2 years. It was the fact that she’s been on the streets for the past two years.

Sure, some people are on the streets simply because they made bad decision after bad decision, but why did they make those bad decisions? A lot of the time, they weren’t raised in a home with a good family that could pick them back up each time they messed up. Sometimes we judge people harsher than we judge ourselves simply because it’s easier to hold them to a higher standard than it is to hold ourselves. This lady wasn’t complaining about not being able to watch TV; she was thinking about how long it had been since she slept in a bed that she could call her own, relax on the couch, not have to worry about when her next meal would be. She was remembering all of the things she has missed out on while being on the streets for the past two years. She was sad about where she was in her life right now.

The friend she was with was a guy that we see every Sunday on our rounds. He’s the same friendly guy from last week that told us he kept the brown paper bag simply because it said ‘God Loves You!’ on it. When we asked if he remembered us, he not only remembered us but with a smile on his face as he got up to meet us, he said, “You guys have the best Sack Lunch. I’ve had a lot of Sack Lunches from a lot of different places, Nashville, all over. But you guys have the best. Everything is the best. The meats. Everything. You know just how to make it.” We feed a lot of people, but this man, in particular, is always thankful. It’s as if he wants us to know that he doesn’t just take it lightly that we’re feeding him; it means something to him.

After them, we immediately met a new woman right across the street. When we first asked her if she wanted a sack lunch, she hesitated; it was almost like she was thinking to herself, “Do I really need it?” Then she answered, “Yes, thank you.” As I handed it to her, she said, “Thank you all for caring.” She then wanted to know what church we went to, so we told her that this is our ministry, and we handed her a business card. She looked at it and smiled and repeated, “Thank you all for caring.” As we were about to drive away, she stood up and asked a question that left us all speechless, “Can I make a donation?” Reaching into her pocket, she continued, “Can I make a dollar donation?” This woman has nothing. She’s living on the streets. She’s cold. She’s hungry, and yet she wanted to donate what little she had so that we could help others. This woman was a modern-day version of the woman and the mite. She was ready to give all she had so that down the road, someone else in need could get a free sack lunch just like she did.

They’re not many strangers that I want to grow up to be like, especially those who are on the streets, but this woman, in particular, I want to grow up to be like her. I want to love people and give what I can to help others in the good and in the bad. When I have plenty and when I have little. Jesus said that the love of many would grow cold, and we can see the beginning of that prophecy right here in our day and age. In 2020 we saw people fighting over toilet paper they didn’t need. We’ve seen people fighting in the streets simply because they don’t like what the other person believes. People are starving while we spend thousands of dollars on ice cream alone. When did the love in our hearts grow cold? When did we stop caring about our fellow man?

This Christmas Season, I propose a challenge to you all in honor of the woman we met today. Do something for someone else. Whether it’s offering your skills in your local community, volunteering your time at a local soup kitchen or boys and girls club, donating food to a local food pantry, or simply baking Christmas cookies for your neighbors. Don’t let this Christmas pass you by before you can pay forward all of the blessings God has rained down upon you throughout the years.

Please let us know in the comments section below how you chose to partake in the Beverly Challenge.

Merry Christmas! May God Bless you and keep you all!

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