There are people everywhere who have a story to tell. I received this heart-touching email and I asked permission to share it, because it will help us to remember that we must always be available to reach out to help our brothers and sisters in Christ. There are some churches failing miserably at their job of reaching out and loving others, and in many cases there has been more harm done than good. This is a portion of the email.....
"While I was there at the church, I was a single mother of 3 babies, and very poor. I felt like I got overlooked. I tithed and made offerings faithfully and cleaned the church's toilets and watched the members children, yet no one knew my name. No one offered any assistance to me or my children. I actually made a counseling appointment because I wanted financial advice. I was on food stamps, drove a car with no breaks, worked a minimum wage paying job, and was trying to go to college. During the appointment I was told that if I found a dollar on the ground I should tithe it. Well, I did that. I raked up every bit of change I had and sowed it. It was $6 and some change. God honored my faith and we had a service where people gave each other money and 3 people gave me money. It totaled $287. Two of the people that gave to me were people I grew up with and one was their friend. I gave $100 to another person who was financially blessed because that is what we were taught to do and I bought my kids Christmas with the rest. There were times I would be so stressed out not knowing how I would get my children's clothes, pay my power bill, etc. and I would think to myself I must be doing something wrong - maybe its because I have all these kids and I am not married. I was never "measuring up." I too have recently gotten into learning about God's unconditional love. I wasn't taught about that much.
During that time we were taking up offerings for jets, motorcycles, vacations, etc, for people in the church and other pastors. As I look back on it now, it doesn't seem right. I believe in honoring people and I gave in those offerings, but the Bible is very specific on helping the poor and fatherless. I do feel injured. I don't have hard feelings for anyone, but I have had a hard time feeling comfortable in a church. If I go to a church and the first visit is about money, I don't go back. I have been to large churches and walked in and not been acknowledged by a soul in the place. I don't mind so much about being acknowledged if the message speaks to my heart and I get fed. But there are so many people like the man wearing the hat that may be lost forever if they aren't. I feel passionately, that people need to step out on Sunday mornings and walk up and introduce themselves to someone. When they see a person there every time the church doors are open with 3 children, no husband, and visibly poor, they should reach out to them. We were not taught to do that in our church. So many people would keep giving to the already financially blessed, but nothing was said about giving to the poor and fatherless. We were taught to sow into good ground, but most people don't take the time to look on the inside of people."
I so appreciate this precious lady sharing these things with me and allowing me to post them for all to see. We must always be aware that there are people right in front of us who need a friend. One of the best things we can do for our Heavenly Father is be kind to His children. Just to let you know, she told me in another email that she has since gotten married and is doing really good. I pray that God will lead her to a church that will love her and teach her the real truth of God's Word. I pray that God will bless her life and that she will know His love like never before.
"Jesus said, For I was hungry, and you didn't feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn't give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn't invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn't give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn't visit me. They will reply, 'Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?' And He will answer, I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me." (Matthew 25:42-44)