a bench with a view

a bench with a view

Sunday, November 4, 2012

humbling

I started writing a post about what I did today and when I went back to read it, it sounded very self righteous and condescending and I didn't like how it came out, so I'll try again, simply relating what hubby and me did with a group of seven others.

We fed the homeless. Simple as that. Not in a homeless shelter or a rescue mission or a soup kitchen or whatnot but on the streets of downtown San Diego. Actually, if you were to add it all up, we only made it to about four streets before we ran out of the supplies we had with us.

We went as part of a group called HydrateSan Diego (google it on FaceBook, I had the link for it here, but realized the link also included a lot of my personal info on Facebook that I didn't necessarily want to share) that a young lady from our church boyfriend had started in January of this year.  He simply came up with the idea of taking food, water, other supplies out on the street to those that needed it. No questions asked if they qualified for this service or that service, what their income was, etc. If they needed it, they were welcome to take it.

I've never done anything like this before. I dabbled here and there helping the homeless, gave money to rescue missions, collected food for food kitchens, delivered meals to shut ins on Thanksgiving, but never walked the streets face to face with those unfortunate to be homeless.

I truly believe what a lot of people say that the majority of us are one or two paychecks away from being homeless ourselves. I truly believe not everyone living on the street is a drug addict or an alcoholic but are "average" people who made perhaps poor decisions or choices or were victims of a bad economy. I truly believe it is not a choice anyone makes to take to the streets and I'm sure it is a very hard life to deal with day after day after day.

There are major streets, more than one street, but major streets in downtown San Diego that have makeshift camps of the homeless. It breaks your heart driving by them when you see faces of despair, faces of lost hope, young, old, some with dogs, some in groups, some alone.

Today we brought supplies to those who lived on the street.  Today those who needed it got a pair of new socks or two or three if they asked for them, something to drink, something to eat, warm clothes, a pair of shoes, a smile, a touch.

Today I was humbled and grateful for what I have. A warm house, a comfy bed, a fridge full of food, etc. There by the grace of God I could have been.

I was humbled with the man that asked everyone to be quiet so he could offer up a prayer to God thanking God for sending people to help with some things he needed.

I was humbled with the young girl who told me these were her family, even though she was related to none of them, but she had 50 members in her family.

All I know is I want to go out next month (they do this monthly) with more supplies, with blankets because it will be cooler here, with hats, gloves, etc., etc., etc to help as I can.

All I know is I was touched today. It was a profound experience I was so grateful to be part of.



42 comments:

Shelly said...

This touches and inspires me so much. You've done it to the least of these, so you've also done it to Him.

Linda B. said...

"Love thy neighbor" in action, AWESOME post!

Michelle said...

Bless you, Betty. Tears of joy ran down God's face today, as He was so proud of you.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Bless you for being so kind to those in need. They say that in giving we receive. No truer words said. It would humble you greatly. I am thankful for my home and am blessed to have it. Many do not.

Karen Greenberg said...

What a great thing to do. I love the idea of just going out on the streets to where the homeless are and really connecting with people. This is truly what being the hands and feet of Christ is all about.

Kathy ... aka Nana said...

what a blessing you were to those who are out on the streets. What a wonderful way to show Christ's love to the "least of these".

Parsley said...

Being Jesus' feet...beautiful.

Bijoux said...

That sounds like a blessing that went both ways.

Jeanie said...

What a wonderful story, Betty. I especially like that need was the only criteria. In addition to what you offered to those in need, you gave us a gift by sharing your story and your thoughts about what you did.

jack69 said...

This one touches a cord sweetheart. A great entry and wonderful gesture. It is that 'unconditional love' that is hard for most folk. We humans are prone to put strings to it, if we don't watch out.
Good on you guys!!!
Love sent from the other side of the country!

Mevely317 said...

I hope everyone who reads this is as touched as I am right now, and might be spurred to action.

Here I began my day, all concerned about next month (or even next week!), and these folks' only concern is their here-and-now.

I needed to see this ... thank you!

mare ball said...

I've given food to homeless men when I see them, and it touches me too. I feel almost gluttonous with all that I have. I don't understand the disparity in such a wealthy country. I know there are some who take advantage of the generosity offered, but I know there are those who are genuinely hurting, too. I'm not sure we can know the difference, but God knows, and He alone can judge in the end.

Betty WSch. said...

You make me want to do the same. Compelling testimony and very inspiring!

Secret Agent Woman said...

That's a lovely example of how helping others in need also enriches us.

Nel said...

Thanks for sharing Betty! What a touching post. I do know what you mean about a humbling experience. Last year at Christmas instead of my hubby getting me a present I requested that we buy things, hats,scarves,socks,soap,toothpaste,brushes,deodorant,crackers, candy, bibles, etc. Place them in bags and hand them out to the homeless here in Springfield. I had one man tell me that is the first time he got a present in years. It is a humbling experience. Thanks for sharing!
until next time... nel

Tamera Brose said...

What a wonderful post and wonderful idea. Next time you will know better what to take. You can always pray to know ahead of time if there's something you can bring that will be a specific blessing for someone. I think even just knowing someone thought of me would be a blessing.

Tami said...

You have a kind soul. It was very touching to see how you helped and impacted the lives of many. Bless you!

Empty Nester said...

What a lovely thing to do! I wish we had something like that around here---maybe we do and I just don't know about it. Thanks for sharing this!

Juli said...

Awesome. :)

Living Life said...

What a wonderful mission to be a part of Betty. God is surely working through you!

Elizabeth said...

Your tone was beautiful in this rewrite. It is humbling to even for a moment be a true servant of God. I think despite what we wish we look down on the helpless and homeless. By spending time with those who are struggling to just make it through another day it is a reminder that it could be us and we are no better than anyone else.

rmslil said...

wow... was just thinking i needed to do something like that this thanksgiving.

Aneta said...

What an awesome post. Don't you feel most alive when you know you are being the hands and feet of Jesus? I think we become less judgmental when we see how things are up close.

Jimmy said...

Betty, The number of people living on the streets is heartbreaking, I am proud of you for reaching out to help in this way, actually going out there and looking them in the eyes and treating them as human will do a lot for them, the food and clothing will go a long way especially this time of year.

Marianne said...

You inspire me. Thank you for sharing your experience - it is so important in a time where things often feel removed, distant, and untouchable.

LynnMarie said...

Putting feet on what God wants us all to do! Well done. I'm pround that you were able to leave y our comfort zone and help someone. I know God will bless you someone.

Deanna said...

You have brought tears to my eyes. I am very fortunate to have an easy life, but as you say, that could change in a heart beat. What a wonderful thing that your group is doing. God bless you!

Big Mark 243 said...

This was true compassion at work, Betty..! Thank you for you and your friends for being such an inspiration to help and give succor to others.!!

Hollie said...

What a rewarding experience!! I know the people really appreciated all you guys done!! Wonderful idea!! God Bless!!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

What a beautiful thing you did. I am so happy you went. It sounds like something I would like to do.
I also believe in many ways we are all a paycheck away too. I will head on over and check them out.
((HUGS))

Blondee said...

God Bless you for reaching out and making someone else's day better.

Lynda said...

It is good for all of us to get out of our comfort zone on occasion to recognize how truly fortunate we are. There are sooooo many who need help that it can be overwhelming. You all did good by just doing something and that is something to be commended. Hopefully your post will be the catalyst for others to take some kind of action, too.

Chatty Crone said...

You got me thinking - I know this was a profound experience for you. I asked you how people got homeless. I wonder how Hurrican Sandy will affect NY and NJ in the homeless department there. They are still hurting there and need relief. sandie

SweetMarie said...

How wonderful of you! You have really touched my heart! There are so many people in this country that need help and yet there are so many people that have so much more than they need, it's so sad.

Bobbi and Gracie said...

Wow! What a wonderful thing to do! We have one homeless girl in our area who wanders the streets day and night. I'm told that she has family, but she chooses to be homeless. It makes me sad, and I wonder what this poor girl is thinking and what has happened in her life to bring her to where she is today. Homeless people always have tugged at my heartstrings. It doesn't matter how they got there.. Every one has a story. You are right Betty, there but for God's grace go I. This must have been a real blessing on both sides. Bless your hearts!!!

Linda :) said...

I don't think I could do what you did... I see many of the same homeless people on my way to and from work... with faith and trust we rely on God... :)

Lynn Proctor said...

may God bless you--which He already has blessed you with such a tender heart betty <3

Seriously Though said...

what a great experience to be stretched this way. for many of the homeless without this type of giving from individuals they simply wouldn't survive.

Jen Forbes said...

It's such a good thing to do Betty.

I used to do it with a group from church and it was such a humbling experience. I've felt kinda bad that I didn't continue with it after the accident.

There are so many in need Betty and I know they are truly blessed to have you on their side.

God Bless

The Brown Recluse said...

Betty...what a wonderful thing to do. I'd like to contribute to the cause. Email me an address if there's something I can do.

melody-mae said...

So beautiful. Truly inspiring. We have a store house ministry at our church ( a type of foodbank) and when we hear of others in need we can fill up a box or two and give it to them...nothing like what you have done, and it inspires me to do more as well!!!

now following you!
Happy Thanksgiving.

Danielle L Zecher said...

I know I am VERY late commenting on this, but thank you so much for sharing it. I think your post is excellent and doesn't sound self serving at all. You did a great thing, and you're sharing the experience. I love to see people share posts about almost anything to help make the world a little better. I believe it can help spread awareness of the many ways to help, and sometimes people have the kind of day where they just NEED to read about someone doing something nice.