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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Pass It On

Pass It On

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,

who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those

in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

With arms crossed and eyes narrowed, Judy (not her real name) glared at me and demanded, “Why do you do this? Why do you come here?” Judy, who’d come to Bible study every week since she’d moved into the homeless shelter, never joined us at the kitchen table. Instead, she retreated to the safety of a corner in the kitchen. Judy’s body language shouted the distrust born out of her life circumstances. Having only visited the shelter for a few weeks, I was taken aback by Judy’s questions. Stumbling through an answer, I tried to ease her fears.

Later, searching my heart for just why I had felt led to teach a Bible study at The Shepherd’s House, I remembered a day when I had dropped off a clothing donation at the shelter. I recalled seeing the women and children who were living there and the pain reflected in their eyes – pain that I understood. I then realized that God had been preparing my heart since childhood for this ministry. Circumstances in my life have led me to have a heart for hurting people. Those same circumstances have also taken away the tendency to be judgmental.

Several years ago while going through a very long and painful season, many people did so much to love and care for me. One friend in particular was always very loving and giving. After several months, I finally asked how I could ever repay her kindness. My friend replied, “You’re not to repay me - you’re to pass it on.”

Suddenly realizing the answers to Judy’s questions, I wrote a letter and shared my story with her. “Although I’ve never been homeless,” I told her, “there’s not a lot that any of the residents have experienced that hasn’t touched my life in one way or another. Thankfully, God has always placed special people in my life who have shown Christ’s love to me. And that has made all the difference. So, Judy, I do this, I come to the shelter because I’m passing it on.” The following week, Judy joined us at the kitchen table.

Now, whenever a new resident moves into the shelter, I take the time to tell them who I am and why I come. I encourage them that someday when they get to the other side of whatever trial they’re facing, they too will have the opportunity to minister to others. And when a resident asks how they can repay my kindness, I always reply, “Please, just pass it on.”

Are we able to encourage others who are walking through difficult days by sharing how God has been faithful to us?

Do we take the time to share our hearts as we reach out to minister to others?

Do we take the opportunity to pass it on?

Father, thank you for the comfort You bestow on us through Your Spirit, Your Word and Your people. Help us to pass it on. In the precious name of Jesus. Amen

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Blogger Denise said...

Amen, pass it on.

April 1, 2009 at 12:33 AM  

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It is good to hear from you... thank you so very much for leaving a note on the table. That makes us smile!

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