Saturday, November 1, 2008

Warm Hands, Warm Hearts


Welcome to the weekend!

On one of my previous posts – Just One Pair I got a really good comment from my friend, Kim Woodbridge.

The post about Just One Pair was to challenge you to buy a pair of shoes for someone you knew needed them. Thank you for taking that challenge.

The comment Kim posted helped me realize that it’s not just shoes people need to keep warm, but gloves and hats, too.

Here’s part of her comment:

"Yesterday it was pouring and the first bitter cold day in Philadelphia. There was a homeless man outside of work who looked so cold and so wet. When thinking about what I could possibly do, I thought about this article that I had read a couple of days before. I've decided to buy extra hats and mittens, keep them in my backpack, and distribute them as needed. There isn't much I can really do for these people, but no one deserves to suffer like that."

She’s right. And with Thanksgiving fast approaching, we have much to be thankful for. Yet, there are many who are left out in the cold.

No one deserves to suffer in the cold.

No one.

We can all sit in our warm homes or bundle up in our warm coats, gloves and hats and forget about those stuck in the cold. We can rationalize that it’s not our problem, that they likely brought their circumstances upon themselves because of their addictions, lifestyle or even their own foolishness.

Let me take a moment and tell you about one of my heroes – King Benjamin – and share something he told his people at a great meeting long ago.

This king was loved by his people. He didn’t tax them excessively. He didn’t require them to support him. He worked right alongside his people and showed them by his kindness and charity that he loved them.

At the great conference, the last one of his life, he was about to confer his kingdom upon his son, Mosiah. Before that could be done, however, he felt to share some great truths with his people.

In part, he directed:

“…Ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.

“Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—

“But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.

“For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?

“And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name, and begging for a remission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay; he has poured out his Spirit upon you, and has caused that your hearts should be filled with joy, and has caused that your mouths should be stopped that ye could not find utterance, so exceedingly great was your joy.

“And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another.

“And if ye judge the man who putteth up his petition to you for your substance that he perish not, and condemn him, how much more just will be your condemnation for withholding your substance, which doth not belong to you but to God, to whom also your life belongeth; and yet ye put up no petition, nor repent of the thing which thou hast done.

“I say unto you, wo be unto that man, for his substance shall perish with him; and now, I say these things unto those who are rich as pertaining to the things of this world.” (Mosiah 4:16-23)

Now, I realize that some of us (maybe even most of us) are really suffering from economic times. We may be scraping by, eking out just enough of a living to pay rent and put food on our table. Are those who don’t have enough to give required, then, to give what we don’t have?

King Benjamin addressed that, as well.

“And again, I say unto the poor, ye who have not and yet have sufficient, that ye remain from day to day; I mean all you who deny the beggar, because ye have not; I would that ye say in your hearts that: I give not because I have not, but if I had I would give.

“And now, if ye say this in your hearts ye remain guiltless, otherwise ye are condemned; and your condemnation is just for ye covet that which ye have not received. (ibid vv 24-25)

Now, if you’ve read this far, you probably already have a good idea of what today’s challenge is.

I’d like to challenge you to do as Kim has done.

If you’re out shopping this weekend, how about picking up one or two pair of gloves? How about one or two warm hats? If you don’t have the extra money right now, can you set aside a dollar or two once a paycheck so that you can buy them?

Then, when you have them, can you keep them with you so that when you encounter someone suffering from the cold, you can hand them out?

It doesn’t have to be a big deal. You can just give them away and say, “I hope you can keep warm. Have a nice day.”

Can you help Kim keep someone warm?
If you can, God bless you.

If not, I know you would if you could. That is enough.

One or two pairs of gloves.

One or two warm hats.

That’s all this challenge requires.

Small and simple.

I appreciate you passing the word so that we can help as many people as we can.

Social media is incredible. Through passing it on, we can really make a difference in our world. Through your efforts to digg, stumble, retweet, link and forward, we're making a difference. You are making a difference!

And, as we continue, we can make just a little bit of Heaven in our corner of the earth.

To read the earlier post, Just One Pair, please click the following link:

http://serviceafol.blogspot.com/2008/10/just-one-pair.html



Stay warm!

Remember, Service is the Action Form of Love!



James


5 comments:

journey2learn said...

Count me in....What a great idea!

Anonymous said...

Great idea... great blog... thanks for the stories and the wisdom they offer. I work with homeless folks in Philly and I can tell you that it is the little kindnesses that make the greatest impact on their lives. Thanks again.

Minxy Mimi said...

Wonderful idea. I hope many hear about this and help out.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Heather said...

Just a question (back story first):
I give the majority of my daughter's hand-me-downs to the women's shelter (the ones without stains or defects). I give all the clothes I have grown out of to the same shelter. I also try to drop spare change into buckets marked for charities. I don't see people on the street in my area. If I did, I would like to think that I would try to help somehow.
In all honesty, I am also one of the people that the women's shelter gives clothes to.
I feel that having been so blessed as to have my needs met.
Therefore, I feel I must take care of those clothes because, in my eyes, they are not mine. They are merely on loan to me until they go to their next owner.
Does this count because sometimes it doesn't feel like I'm doing my fair share.

James H said...

Heather,

How can that NOT count? You're doing something - that's what does count.

So many of us don't bother to do anything at all.

We buy new clothes and toss the old ones. We pass by those we can see with our own eyes are cold - freezing. And we do nothing.

You inspire me!

James