Friday, February 19, 2010

A Gift from the Heart

Saturday morning I woke and readied myself for a new experience called Adopt-A-Block. The only thing I had heard was that people went to neighborhoods and gave food and clothes to people. God put it on my heart that I join, so I was ready for recruitment.

I found Sunnyslope to be nothing like its name. It is a forgotten little corner behind a mountain ornamented of wealthy houses. On the opposite side lay middle class suburbia.

Broken glass lay like their shattered dreams carpeting the ground. It was as thick as the lies that the enemy fed these people. A small cluster of apartment buildings flanked the sad street. Plastic windows, like blind eyes, stared out into the world filled with hopelessness. With each step I took, the hot asphalt sucked out a little more joy.

Slowly, I began forming relationships with our regular attendees in The Slope and continued searching for the hurting.

Our church provided us clothing and other items occasionally to give to our block; however, there was always a need for children’s clothing. It was put upon my heart one week to go to Wal-Mart and buy clothing for some of the children. I had a general idea of the ages and did the best I could with sizes. Only gathering fifty dollars worth of clothing, I wanted to buy more. It just didn’t seem like enough, but it was all I had to give.

The following Saturday, I set the clothes out on the grass for the children to sort through. One girl scooped up some shirts and I reminded her they were for the other girls as well. One little boy, around three, whom I had picked up a few weeks earlier and carried to the block and loved to be held by me, went over and picked up a shirt/short set.

“Is this for me? Can I have this?” his eye wide with joy.

I knelt down, “Yes, I bought this for you to have.”

Instantly he wrapped his little arms around me and said, “Thank you.”

Smiling, I had to turn away as the tears fell. These children appreciated having such things because they were without. They didn’t have the necessities we sometimes call luxuries.

Again, I thought of how much more I wanted to buy them and was unable to while I went home to a safer neighborhood that had working air conditioning and food, and a closet full of clothes that I was tired of wearing.

It brought back memories of my childhood when I was given clothes and shoes, especially in third grade gym class when I had to play in my socks because I did not have tennis shoes and my teacher kept insisting that my mother could afford them.

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