Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Blessing Bags

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We don't see too many homeless people in our neck of the woods--we're pretty rural here, with a large metropolitan area not too far away.  But every now and then, I'll see someone bundled up in what looks like all of the clothing he owns, standing at the top of the freeway off-ramp with a hand-lettered cardboard sign.

Please help.

And I want to help, because I am so blessed--blessed beyond measure--and, as a Christ follower, it's my job to help.


And the king will answer them,
‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these
who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ ...
Then he will answer them,
‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these,
you did not do it to me.’ 
Matthew 25: 40 & 45


But I don't help. 

Because I don't necessarily want to just give him money, and as a woman driving alone or with small children in my vehicle, I don't necessarily want to pick him up and take him somewhere for a warm meal either.

Excuses.

So I decided to do a little something about that.  Finally.  I put together some Blessing Bags, with a few personal supplies and some snacks.  I keep them in my car, and when I see someone in need, I'm prepared to help in a very practical but safe way.  Really, it's a drop in the bucket, but this little bag of blessing can mean so much.


I included a toothbrush, floss, and toothpaste, a bar of soap and trial size deodorant, band-aids, lip balm and cough drops, plus lotion and a razor.  All of these items I got for free using coupons or by requesting free samples.  I also included a few snacks.

 
Some other items you might want to include in your blessing bags:
Gloves and hat (especially in the colder months)
Warm socks
Bottle of water
Gum
Tissues
Shaving cream
Wet wipes
Washcloth or hand towel
Restaurant or grocery store gift card
Coins--to make a phone call or buy a cup of coffee
List of resources for the homeless in your area
 
AKD and I handed out our first Blessing Bag a couple of weeks ago to a man standing at the intersection.  He didn't know quite how to react as he looked from the bag to us and back to the bag again.  The traffic cleared; I moved forward to turn, and as we drove away, he called out, "God bless you."
 
God bless you.

 
************
 
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’
Matthew 25:35-40

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