Tuesday, August 13, 2013
I have heard that we are the hands and feet of God.
As believers we are drawn to do God's will.
I have pondered what those words mean to me. For me they mean giving that one person who see's nothing but a dark dismal existence, a shred of hope. Giving them the words that they are worth something. That at any time they can turn to Jesus and begin the most important relationship they will ever have.
Years ago when I was in middle school, I had an opportunity to volunteer at an outreach program.
I am now almost 36 and I can remember the feelings, the horror of seeing the things I witnessed up close. Things you at that point had only seen in movies and TV.
We handed out blankets, food, and jackets to the homeless in downtown Sacramento. In a vacant lot at night, two days before Christmas.
I left my warm cozy house, being a snotty teenager, not really wanting to go. I was thrown up close and personal handing a blanket to a mother that had a child all of three years old hanging on her dress. The little girl peeking out from behind her mothers legs had no shoes, red, raw, and dirty feet, and a dress so thin you could almost see through it.
I left that night with a lump in my throat, and not only more appreciative of what I had. But a desire had grown to keep being these hands and feet of God.
I ended up moving to Placerville and no longer could participate.
I had always thought of that mother and child over the years, and couldn't wait until I could do more outreach work again.
Last weekend I finally got that chance.
My husband's band, which is a Christian band, had been playing their music at an abandoned lot in Stockton, where they do an outreach program.
My husband was not too sure about me going to the rough neighborhood, but I bugged and bugged.
Now being a photographer, I wanted to capture these images. I wanted to capture these angels giving up their time to make a difference in these people's lives.
Howard the facilitator goes out with member's of the church once a month and hands out a meal, sometimes clothes, and now for the second time, The Vine
has been there to play music for them. Music is so universal, it's something that everyone can relate to. What better way to preach God's word than through good music?
Watching the people engage with the band was so humbling and emotional.
When it was time for prayer, I saw a man walk up to my husband. He took off his hat and glasses and reached out to him for prayer.
I hope these people know that we get as much from them as they do us. I took one photograph of a complex with boarded up windows, and there was a group of people hanging out in front of it. Right in front of the complex was a tree. Some of it had thick bare branches. The trunk looked as if people had been hacking at it. But there was still a lot of bushy green leaves on it.
It made me think of these people. These children of God who have lost their way, have given up, that have nothing to look forward to. They are the bare branches, but of the same tree, I know they can be green again.
They need that one glimmer of hope. And maybe that glimmer is a meal once a month. Or music that speaks to their heart.
There was one woman who came up and asked if she could sing a song. She had such a beautiful voice. She sang about Jesus and you could see and feel the emotion as she sang.
As it stands now. One woman pays for these meals out of her own pocket. Another person purchases pocket bibles to hand out as well. That's why it's only once a month for now. Hopefully more donations can be made to make this miracle happen more frequently for these people.
Again, we are the hands and feet of God, and the mouths too I guess. I know sometimes people think, I can only give $5, what's that going to do? A LOT! That's a case of food we can pick up at Costco to hand out.
Here are the photographs from our day.
The Vine setting up
For a look at all the images from that day or to purchase any Allyson Gray Photography