If you have been reading my blog, you know that I have been working with Love INC. for about 3 years now. When I first met Sue Flowers, she was so moved by my story, she wanted to find a way to help me. That help turned out to be an entirely new branch of ministry through Love INC. called Hearts to Home. And it is specifically for people who fall through the cracks, like me. I am on disability, and my husband has a decent job, so we make too much money to qualify for any financial help from state or federal agencies.
So I have to rely on the goodness of people and their willingness to volunteer. Sue has worked her butt off on this campaign. She has gone through all the legalities and niceties and all the other "teas" to plead my case, and to get this entire ministry off the ground. I'm sure she put in countless hours that she didn't get paid for to see this dream, to meet an unmet need, come to fruition. This woman has a heart of gold. She would do everything herself if she were physically able. She wants to help everyone, and tries her very best to do so.
So after about 2, 2 1/4 years, she sent me a pamphlet; Hearts to Home was officially a ministry. So she set about finding people who could some out to help me clean once a week, and someone to just come and give me a break from Jacob once a week. I was the only person at the time (that I'm aware of) that was in this ministry that needed this kind of help. Guess how many people volunteered?
No one in the whole volunteer core of Love INC. ministry, no one in any of the churches in the entire tri-county area where this specific Love INC. has offices. NO ONE. Now don't get me wrong...I understand people are busy. I understand that people have lives. They have children in sports and vacation plans and laundry of their own....
Do you know what the problem with people in this country is? Lack of commitment. People will get married because they can always get divorced. People can sign up for something because they can always quit. Everything in our society is geared toward immediate gratification from microwave ovens to overnight delivery.
I have been doing inmate Bible lessons for almost 13 years. Do you think I ever get tired of it? Yup. Do you think I want to permanently quit sometimes? Mm-hm. But do I? No. Why? Because I made a COMMITMENT. I have had to take breaks due to my health, but never more than a few months at a time, and I always continue. I also started writing inmates via Christian Pen Pals. Why? Because I can, and because as a Christian, it is my DUTY to do what Jesus commands. A couple of my pen pals are lifers. So I may be writing them for the rest of my days. Might I get sick of it? I might. Will I quit? NO. Why? Because I made a commitment. And because it's the right thing to do.
Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. Hebrews 13:2-3
There are many people who will sign up to volunteer for these two specific hours once every two months because then they can appease their conscience and check off their "I volunteered" column on their Christian "to-do" duty list.
Hear me clearly: I am not asking for your help. You don't have to help me. I am finding my own way with the help of a few friends. But for the love of GOD, help SOMEONE. And KEEP helping them. Someone with chronic illness, barring the direct Hand of God, will not get better overnight (ergo the name "chronic" illness). EVER. Therefore, the need does not go away. But I can promise you the volunteers do.
Jesus said in Matthew 25:43-45:
"I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’"
I realize that some seasons of life are different than others, and you may be able to help one person for a while, and then circumstances change and you can't help that person anymore. But that doesn't give you the choice to just check out. Find someone else to help. Everyone can do something. You don't have to help everyone. You don't have super powers and you can't save the world. But YOU, yes, YOU reading this, might be the ONE person who can help to make a valuable, Christ-like difference in someone's life. Please find them. They are there.
They are waiting.
They need YOU.