#WCW – When I Was Hungry…You Fed Me

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. – Matthew 25:35-40KJV

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Photo Credit: KConnors

I love when I stumble upon nuggets that I know, without a doubt, were totally meant for me to see. Nothing happens by chance, and I’m sure chance had nothing to do with me happening upon one of the most beautiful, yet painfully honest, depictions of humanity I’d seen in a long while. Twitter, one of my favorite social media sites, is where I park my cursor or my thumb while scrolling for current happenings on my laptop or smartphone. One of its features that I favor most is the trending section. It relates what’s most popular or what’s most newsworthy amongst all tweeters who hold an account on Twitter. Well, long story short…

About a week ago a hashtag about kindness was trending. Curious as to how people all over the world perceive and convey kindness, I surfed the hashtag a while. I found the usuals: best friend selfies, family selfies, save the planet, save the animals, be kind to your neighbor, etc. It wasn’t until my eyes grew tired that, at the near end of the hashtag trend, it hit me, stopped me cold, a homeless woman holding a sign that read: I used to be a figure skater. I wanted to know everything about her story, so I clicked the link. And for the next minute or so of  FaithReel video feed, I sat on the edge of my bed in complete tears. For 1 minute and 24 seconds, homeless people told their life stories in short on a piece of cardboard with a sharpie.

I speak 4 languages…

I was on the Buffalo Bills practice squad from 1998-2000

I was a computer programmer…

I built robots…

I once had a scholarship to play baseball…

I’ve saved at least 3 lives…

I’m recovering from open heart surgery…

Me and my son escaped domestic violence…

I have a degree in biology from a major university…

And the clincher, I am homeless and I DO have a job…

This video hit me hard because I woke up that morning with joy, but with some complaints as well. Of course, my complaints pale in comparison to living on the streets. But they were there, and I felt totally selfish for having them. People just like you and me, who once had hopes, dreams, aspirations, and jobs, ended up on the streets. Homelessness doesn’t have a gender. It doesn’t have a color. And, it doesn’t have a faith. It’s by the grace of God we all hold the bits we have.

About two Christmas’s ago, my family was faced with a really challenging situation. We were in need of a miracle like we were in need of air-DESPERATELY! And while searching for God in our situation via prayer and searching the scriptures, I received one of the most simple yet powerful messages I’d ever received. When you need, give. Y’all know I had a problem with that at first, right? I kindly replied to God, “I’m asking you for a miracle. What do I have to give if I’m in need?” No answer. I pouted around the house for a little while, then resorted to grabbing a spot on the couch and writing out my Christmas dinner menu. And as it should have, my answer came in like a freight train. “Why don’t you feed someone else for Christmas.” That, we did. We made it our mission to step out of our focus on ourselves and focus on helping someone else. My husband brought home a big box from work and I headed off to the grocery store. I made sure I bought the good stuff too. I shopped for them like I shopped for my own family. We packed that box up together like we were shipping it off to the White House as the best present one could give to the President for Christmas. It felt good too. And our situation hadn’t yet changed. Actually, we went through another six or seven months of it. But you know what? In that go through, we never went without. The seed we planted in someone else’s life kept showing back up in ours.

Whether it’s a roof over our heads, food on the table, clothes on our bodies, or shoes on our feet, we always have something to give to someone else. If we cared for one another like we should, there wouldn’t be a homeless person on the street. Someone else’s dream doesn’t have to end on a park bench or a piece of cardboard.

I’ll never look at homelessness the same way again…

naomickellogg@gmail.com

I'm a writer, wife , and mom.

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