We worry when the weather gets too cold and we don’t see our friends on Saturday morning. The first thing we do is ask around to see if anybody knows where the missing people are. Are they safe? Are they inside? If we are unable to learn anything, we drive around the city, looking under bridges, in doorways, in alleys, and behind abandoned buildings. We check with the police and scan the newspapers for news of anybody who may have succumbed to the cold. Thinking about this sends shivers down my spine. Even though we go downtown every Saturday to assist our friends, I am still amazed by the ability of people who can survive in weather like this. How do they do it? How can anybody do it?
When you go to your warm home in your safe neighborhood, do you think about those who are not as fortunate? I know that until I began to work with our friends, I used to pray for them. Now I know that my prayers were not enough. I needed to do something more than pray, so I got involved. It is easy to become involved. All it takes is a little action. It doesn’t have to be a large gesture. Simple acts like donating used clothing and blankets or purchasing new hygiene products are always greatly appreciated. The thanks we receive from our friends at the park, under the bridges, and at Salvation Army are genuine. We are also grateful to have them in our lives. That was the unexpected bonus of getting involved. Never did I imagine that I would be so grateful as to be able to work with the poor and homeless in Milwaukee. I am grateful for their kindness, friendship, helpfulness, grace, and their uncanny ability to make me laugh. I think about them often, as I sit in my warm house, stocked with plenty of food and warm clothes.
May you always have plenty of food to eat and a safe, warm place to call “home.”
God’s blessings to you and yours,