Monday, January 9, 2012

give when they can't give back

Awhile ago I posted this about my neighbor across the street.  The old, lonely woman who has no family and no visitors.

Well, since that post, I have failed to keep visiting her.  Every now and then I'd see someone come to her door and take her somewhere.  So, I assumed she was being taken care of.

I was wrong.

Last week, I was enjoying this nice Fall weather we are having in January with my kids.  She came to her door and yelled my name.  (well, she calls me "Bunny"... not sure why).  Slightly annoyed, I carried my toddler and my infant across the street (when all Jonah wanted to do was ride his bike), up her steps and into a house where they could touch nothing.

When I got to the door, she was crying.  Tears.  I come in to find out that she missed her appointment to get her food stamps renewed.  She handed me a letter ONE MONTH old stating her appointment was in November.  She has had no food for over a month.

She goes on to explain that she can't read and has no telephone to call the office.  And suddenly, this interesting feeling starts to come over me - a compassionate "I'll take care of you" attitude coupled with a "this is going to interfere with my life" feeling. 

The next morning, I take her down to the welfare office.  I promise to drop her off and pick her up when everything was set.  But, as I help her walk into the building, I realize that this woman needs more than a ride to the office... She needs someone to stand up for her.

So, I sit with her for two hours before we were told that the woman we need to see hasn't even arrived yet.

We leave.

And another week goes by of me calling DAILY to talk to someone at the office.  Another week with no food for my neighbor.  We brought a meager batch of groceries over to help curb her appetite until we could figure out this situation.

She finally has her benefits back and my husband and I have a new tradition of bringing coffee over to her every morning.  Those 15 minutes may be all the people interaction she gets all day.

I like helping my neighbors.  It's why we moved here - and it's nice to see some progress being made in the "loving people arena".

Which brings me to a new thought. 

I've recently been convicted that the money we (as a Better Life Bag community) give to isn't enough.  The money that I donate from 10% of your bag purchases eventually gets returned to me (since the process is a micro-loan).  And I think God would rather me give the money to people and things that can't repay me.

So, I'm going to start being obedient to that leading.  I'm going to start giving the money from your Better Life Bag orders to people and things that can't give back.  Are you ok with that?

I have a few ideas up my sleeve of needs in our little neighborhood, but for now, I think I'll start with my neighbor.

I told Neil that she could be our "family project."  He responded, "No.  She IS our family."

BLB of the day:
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  1. Sounds like God has a plan for you. The big picture is not always clear to us, but trust in the Lord and all else will be taken care of.

  2. It's one thing to know in our heads that there are people all around us like that who are hurting. It's something completely different, to really see them, care and do something to help. You and your family inspire me to be more like Jesus!

  3. Was thinking the same thing yesterday at church when we were told that at some schools in our county, 90% of the kids have no food over the weekend. They're starting a new bookbag ministry to send the kids home on Fridays with bookbags full of food so they have something to eat over the weekend. Gotta do something.

    That woman is so blessed to have you!

  4. I've just started reading your blog. This post makes me ask what I can do for my neighbors. Thanks for sharing!

  5. wow i love your heart! xxxxxxgreat to find you and follow along xxxxx

  6. Wow!, I am so thankful that you were able and are able to be there for her. We are called to be His hands and feet and Rebecca I've noticed that that is what your children are learning!
    Me and my children delivered Meals on Wheels for over 15 years, I would bet that she would qualify for that if you could help her look it up. Just an FYI. It's one hot meal a day.
    Blessings friend!

  7. You are amazing! what a kind and loving neighbor you and your family are! I bet the coffee, and the conversations mean the world to your neighbor! Im so proud to be your friend!

  8. @Paula I'm going to check into Meals on Wheels! Thanks for the idea!!

  9. You are very kindhearted mumma..Life is so busy that we are not paying attention to the our Givers.They just need an eye of help and love.Some moments can bring happiness in their life but the people ignored these things that hurts a lot to them..Nice Intentions..keep it Best wishes..

  10. what an awesome thing for you to do!!! Neighbors are the best kind of friends. :)
    This passed tuesday I lost a great friend and neighbor suddenly and although we helped each other out, you always have that feeling you could have done more. What you are doing is amazing!!
    God bless you! I think your new idea with your 10% is awesome!

  11. Awesome post! Opportunities to bless are all around us. We just need to open our eyes and heart to them and to the Lord's calling! Very inspiring :)


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