I had originally planned that I would only give tangible things, but not any more.  Today I decided to give my time. One of the churches in Nashville that helps the homeless when it is cold outside couldn’t get the volunteers it usually has because of the weather.  A group of people from my church had helped to divide them up between four churches that offered their buildings.

When I talked with them they told me that they really needed guys to help at one of the churches where there was 35 men staying.  When I got to the church, there was only 1 college age male worker and 2 college girls – and about 40 men.

I walked around and met all the men that were awake.  It was amazing.  They are amazing.

We stayed up till 1 a.m. playing spades and talking.  One of the guys was only 18 years old.  How does an 18 year old kid end up on the streets?  He said that he and his mom had been staying at the women’s shelter for a while, but when he turned 18 he had to leave.  Now he hangs out with some of the guys who were there and they just try to find places to stay.

He told me of how he dreams to get his own place someday and letting his mom live with him, “but just until he finds a girl, then mom will have to move.”

He has dreams.  But you won’t find him at college or at church. You will find him with the homeless.

I started to think of the people I have met while doing this.  People that I never would have met otherwise.  My life will never be the same.

When I first made the decision that I wanted to pursue seminary my pastor gave me one piece of advice.  He told me to “go to the hurting, the outcast, the people on the margins of society, there you will find Jesus.”

I am starting to understand this story that Jesus told:

“A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’

18“But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’

19“Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’

20“Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’

21“The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’

22” ‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’

23“Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.

Wow.  Nothing else to say beyonod that.