We started a new tradition in our family this year. The idea was conceived as we were wrapping up a shopping trip at our local Costco. I passed the winter aisle and grabbed a box of Hotties (hand warmers) and put them in the cart with the idea of taking the kids out during the chill of winter and finding homeless, or people working outdoors (like the Christmas bell ringers) to bless with some warmth. I know we don't have much but there are always people who are less fortunate than we are and I wanted to be able to give a little something to them. My husband took it to a higher level as we were doing our Christmas decorating and he spied some old stockings we had in a box. He decided that each of the six of us should fill a stocking and find a homeless person, close to Christmas, and bless them with this gift. Jason decided that when we went to buy the stuff it would be on faith. We wouldn't have a budget just trust God to provide what we needed for the stockings. Yes this way of thinking is a bit reckless but I think that there are times when reckless faith is what God is calling us to. There are stories of reckless faith all over the Bible. Take David (and Goliath), Daniel, the three friends and the fiery furnace, any of the disciples etc. I think there are times to be prudent and we are not to "test" God but if we feel called to something then by all means we need to trust with all that we have that God is going to work on our behalf to make it happen. One thing the Timm family is not, is luke warm when it comes to our faith in Jesus Christ!
This week we headed to Walmart to obtain filling items for the stockings. The kids had a blast! We gave them guide lines but really left it up to them as to what they wanted to put in their stockings. The girls decided to gear theirs toward women. When we got home we spread all of the items out on the table. It turned out that there was too much to go in a stocking so we put together a gift box to go along with each stocking. (In the gift boxes we put gloves, hats, socks, while the stockings contained toiletry items, a first aide kit, and food including some candy)
Today we went out to find these people that we knew God had planned to recieve the gifts we put together. The first place we found some homeless guys was under an over pass. We found a safe place to park close by and Jason and Megan set out with their gifts in hand. In a few minutes they came back to exchange Megan's gift for one of the gifts geared more towards a guy and headed back over with Josh. I stayed in the car with David and Bekah as the traffic was kind of bad and I didn't want to take an unnecessary risk with the little guy and Bekah didn't want to get out in the cold. We watch as Jason knelt down to the level where the homeless guys were sitting and looked them in the eye as he talked and prayed with them. Jason and the kids were gone for several minutes before returning. It was a beautiful sight and made my Christmas! We had three stockings left to hand out. We drove over to Portland, hoping to find at least one lady. Just as we were about to give up we found a couple with a sign that read "hungry and cold" and we handed them each a stocking and gift as we drove by. It was getting dark so we headed home and still have one lone stocking to give away tomorrow. God knows who He wants to bless with this gift so we will wait and pray for her as we pray for our new friends that we met along the way today.
Next year we are hoping to be able to do this on a larger scale. It was an amazing experience and as I write this it is not to brag about how awesome and amazing my family is (well only about 10% is bragging ;) ) but to challenge others to reach outside of themselves. There are so many people out there that could use some of God's love. It doesn't take much.
Matthew 25:40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’