I'm a person that loves my warm home on a cold, winter night. I love blankets and warm soup, just as much as the next person. As a human, I love being comfortable, but I've experienced my fair share of uncomfortable moments. Don't we all?
I love the city I live in. New Orleans is a place full of activity, craziness, faith and eye-openers. There are things here I've never seen before that God allowed me to see, and I'm not talking about Mardi Gras on Bourbon Street. It's something different. People living here see it. Tourists see it. My son sees it. No, it's not the leftover faded Mardi Gras beads hanging from trees when you drive down St. Charles. It's the homeless man at the corner of the street, under the interstate... shaking.
There have been more times I've stopped at a red light next to a homeless person than stood waiting more than 5 minutes in line at Popeyes. I asked my colleagues how I should approach this situation. This is one of those "uncomfortable situations" where you're stopped at the red light, just you and the homeless person, no one is around you. You look at the red light, you look at him, he looks at you, you look at the red light, he's still staring at you, you give an awkward smile, the light turns green and you jet off.
Now when I'm in that situation, I'll wave, or crack my window and ask what they're name is after handing them something practical like a piece of fruit or a nice hot meal, but a group of friends and I decided to LITERALLY go out into the streets and be with the homeless.
It was the first cold day in New Orleans. A group of friends and I gathered scarves, hand warmers and granola bars and went deep into the French Quarter handing them out. Many homeless were coming up to us in groups begging for scarves. Some didn't even know what hand warmers were. Others were looking at the granola bar in their hand like it was the best Christmas present ever received.
I remember one gentlemen put his scarf on, looked in my eyes and just said thank you and gave me a hug.
I wanted to experience going out into the streets and living out my faith. I witnessed a HUMAN BEING suffering to the extreme, cold and looking for someone to just be Christ-like. I did, in my power, what I could do.
Here is a map of where we were:
So my challenge to you is, will you go out and live your faith. Will you accept the challenge of being a Christian today? Will you acknowledge the person on the corner of the street begging for food as a human being?
All I have to say is challenge accepted.