I LOVE MY CHURCH!!! I’ve mentioned little things here and there before but I have to brag a little bit today. This past Saturday was our 6th annual “Shop With a Hero” event! I will explain what is in a minute. I love it because it completely focuses on our community! Go out into the world and make disciples, right?! That’s what it is all about! When you are a Christian, you don’t just go to church and that’s it. Get out there in the world. Whether it is Hazel Green, AL, Houston, TX, Los Angeles, CA, or Souvenance, Haiti! God did not call us to sit in our church where it’s comfortable. Although, that relationship with your church family is very important and I highly recommend finding somewhere to worship with your brothers and sisters in Christ! But the Christian walk is loving on people that need Jesus. Showing them the love of Christ and sharing the gospel!
My pastor is so invested in our community. It is so important to him to love on the people of our community and to be “Jesus with skin on.” Our “Shop With a Hero” event does just that. We set a particular Sunday that we take up a special offering for the event. The amount given is used to buy $100 gift cards to Walmart. The children selected are ones that basically will not get a Christmas this year for whatever reason. It could be that they are in a girls and boys home, in foster care because their parents couldn’t take care of them, maybe they lost their parent/s and are living with a grandmother that can barely provide for them. Typically your low income families. And their is a whole lot more to their stories than most of us realize, which hurts my heart to even think about. The morning starts out at our church. We have a speaker that shares the gospel with the kids and the family member that came with them. So good!! After that, they go to Walmart. This is where the hero part comes into play! We have Huntsville Fire Dept, Huntsville Police Dept, nurses, teachers, and just about every branch of the military is represented! Each young person that is given a gift card gets to go shopping with a Hero!! And the best part about this is that the hero turns it around and makes that child or young person their hero for the day!! It is all about them! Whatever they want to buy up to $100! They rack up on some awesome stuff too! How great is that?!
I know around this time of year, we can get so fixated and wrapped up in presents and materialistic things that we miss a much bigger picture. These families that come to this event are not only hurting financially, but more than anything, emotionally. We can’t even imagine the sort of home life some of these children have. We take for granted our ability to buy whatever we want, or play Elf on a Shelf (those little boogers are not cheap), or have a large Christmas dinner more than once because of all the family you have. My brother was a hero to a middle school student yesterday. That was a God thing because Dusty is about as chill as they get. He used to teach that age and is so good with them! Anyway, he said that his brother and sister were put in a home in Birmingham and he was put in one up here. I can’t imagine. Dusty said they got to talking and before they knew it, they were in the grocery section. Ha! (That is something that the kids are not allowed to buy.) I think the young man just needed and wanted someone to talk to, whether he realized it or not. The little girl that is in the picture featured with my post was the last girl I got to walk around with. Her name was Lisa! And girl came in with a LIST!!! Haha! I love it! Let me tell you, the only thing she wanted for herself was a bike. Everything else was for her family. Cue the tears! She was an angel. My dad was her hero and he was good with her! My brother and my daddy are both my heroes all the time but I love it when I get to watch them love on other kids like that! Makes my heart happy!
I wrote this post to make you think and get you out of that bubble that we get caught up in every now and then. I do realize that we all work hard for the money that we make and it is well earned! I am not trying to make anyone feel guilty, but more to open your eyes and realize it is not all about getting presents and superficial things. It used to be that way for me. And ya know, I still probably fall into that thought process. I have realized though, as I have gotten older, that giving is so much more fun than getting!! To see the look on someone’s face! My nephews!!! Yall, I can’t tell you how much I love to see my nephews open presents!! They will straight up get excited about a shirt and some pants!! Lol!! “Momma, Daddy, look”!!! That is all we hear when we are doing Christmas at my parents house!! Anyway, remember how precious your family is and more than anything, remember why we actually celebrate Christmas. That sweet little baby!
They say you don’t realize how precious something is until you’ve lost it. So many families have lost so much, not only in our community, but in this country as well. Just this year alone, there has been so much devastation. This is the time when we need to be “Jesus with skin on” more than ever!!
‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
Love on someone today! I pray God puts someone on your heart that may need a smile, or a hug, or a text or whatever! 🙂