May 26, 2010

 

Homeless, Not Abandoned

Luann Prater

 

"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners."

Isaiah 61:1 (NIV)

         

Devotion:

I got a text saying my sister was on the news in our home state.  I raced to my computer to pull up the local station.  As director of a home that houses young, troubled women, she was pleading that the homeless be counted in the 2010 Census.

 

It seemed like not too many years ago my sister and I could have ended up in that home.  Our lives could have taken a "Mary turn."  I met Mary at a fundraising banquet for the Rescue Mission.  She sat next to me and we immediately connected.  Two years earlier she had stepped into the wrong car.  A man took what he wanted from her, then left her for dead on the side of the road.

 

She'd already known a hard life. As a child she'd rebelled against her parents and run away.  For 21 years she had lived on the streets. But then she went with a fellow homeless girl to the Rescue Mission.  When they entered, she witnessed something that touched her deeply. The Mission folks embraced her friend and told her how much they had missed her and been praying for her safety.  In 21 years no one had ever done that for Mary. 

 

There was something different in this place.  Mary physically healed there while Jesus ministered to her soul through the love of His servants.  She discovered what it meant to be a child of the King and gave her heart to Him.  She learned how to make wise choices, obey Mission rules, and become faithful to herself and to Jesus. 

 

Mary now has two jobs, lives in her own apartment and serves at her church nearly every time the doors are open.  She glows with God's brilliant grace and looks like she just stepped out of a fashion magazine.  Her smile lights up the room.

 

She said her momma never stopped praying for her.  She now praises God for the years of heartache and hardships because they put her in touch with the Savior.

 

My parents, too, were on their knees for my sister and me many times.  Maybe that person you see on the street has parents with calluses on their knees. 

 

Watching my once wayward sister stand up for the homeless on TV that day made my heart smile. Our parents would be smiling too, for she displays the Lord's splendor in the Rescue Mission.

 

Are you His witness?  Go display His splendor today because I see His brilliant grace shining on you!

 

Dear Lord, forgive me for walking right by the hurting without even noticing.  Open my eyes to see the world through Your eyes.  May I point a broken heart to the Great Healer.  In Jesus' Name, Amen.

 

Related Resources:

Do You Know the Great Healer?

 

Visit with Luann on her blog and Encouragement Café

 

Sponsor a child; change a generation - Compassion International

 

Too Small to Ignore: Why the Least of These Matters Most by Dr. Wess Stafford

Love Your Neighbor as Yourself by Mary Lance Sisk

Application Steps: 

Volunteer at a Rescue Mission in your area.

 

Pray about releasing a child in poverty through Compassion International.

 

Reflections: 

What am I really doing to reach out to the brokenhearted? 

 

How can I make a difference in my corner of the world?

 

Who around me needs God's love to flow through me and onto them?

 

Power Verses:

Mark 10:45 "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (NIV)

 

Mark 12:31 "The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." (NIV) 

 

 

© 2010 by Luann Prater. All rights reserved.

 

Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105

 www.proverbs31.org