Friday, December 4, 2009

Humble Pie and Other Tasty Treats

I am home and yes, it's true, there is truly no place like home. Daughter-in-law Amy and the kids are here, making home even better. We will only be here a very short time though. This coming Wednesday, I will be driving back to Florida with Amy and the babies. John is gone on a training exercise with the Navy, so I am going back to help with the kids until he returns on the 18th or so. God bless these young military wives. I admire them and don't know that I could be as brave and selfless as they are.

So, as you can see, our time together in Oklahoma is going to be fast and furious meaning we have a lot to accomplish in order to keep The List moving along. Amy and I seem to come back to The List in just about every conversation we have. I like that. We are attending a Beth Moore conference today and tomorrow, so Sunday is launch day. We will be driving downtown to a well known homeless hangout. The plan is to take food to pass out and just go with the flow as far as meeting any other needs that we might be able to address. I think I will take along a handful of jackets as the weather has been brutally cold here of late. My stomach is in knots as I think about this face-to-face encounter we are preparing for. I am not scared, I am happy beyond measure that I get to do this. It does make me think about another homeless people experience, however.

The last time I saw a homeless man, dirty and disheveled, my heart went out to him. I was on my way into the convenience store he sat in front of to pay for the gasoline we had just pumped into our car. Once inside, I quickly grabbed a bag and filled it with a sandwich, chips, cookies, milk and a banana. I was so excited that I was going to get to feed this guy…read my previous posts; I have a thing about food and feeding people. Once I paid for my purchases, I went outside and smiling like a weirdo, I am sure; I walked over to Homeless Guy.

“Hi. Are you hungry?”

He looked up at me and glared. Not only did his face look less than inviting but his lack of verbal response would have told any normal person … keyword: normal … to move along. Homeless Guy was obviously not interested in food or conversation. Once again, I held the bag filled with my heart out to the smelly stranger.

“My name’s Marla. I bought this for you. Here you go!”

Homeless Guy looked at me like I was some whacko, crazy do-gooder. Wow, Homeless Guy was no dummy! He reached his filthy right hand out and quickly shoved the bag back at me.

“Eat it yourself!” he growled at me, then stood and walked away.

I was stunned. I was only trying to help. Didn’t he know I cared and I was only thinking of doing something good? I turned and walked back to our car, feeling embarrassed, stupid and a little humiliated.

As I prepare for Sunday, I am remembering Homeless Guy. Why? Because I never want to do something ever again just to make myself feel good. I realize now, that I didn’t respect Homeless Guy as a human being. I didn’t think about him as someone that had feelings and might be embarrassed, feel stupid or even a little humiliated by a whacko, crazy do-gooder trying to feel better about herself. This time, when we go into Homeless Guy’s and Gal’s community, I will remember I am an uninvited guest there. I will remember to wait to be invited in. I will remember that Homeless Guy had feelings.

One last thing. One of my sisters and I are having major communication problems right now. I don’t know how to fix this and I am not even going to try right now for fear of making things worse. One of her concerns, and from what she has told me, other’s concerns as well, is that I am doing things that will place my children and grandchildren in harm’s way. I want to make sure everyone reading this blog understands something. Anyone that would ever, in any way, try to harm one of my own, would find themselves dead before they hit the ground. That’s right, I said dead. I have no problem protecting the mini people God put in my care, the ones I am responsible for. I have never and would never put anyone, especially children, in danger. If you don’t know that, you don’t know me very well.

My sisters have said … once again … that they will never read my blog again. I respect them for showing they have good taste with that decision. On the odd chance that they accidently stumble onto the blog while Googling for strange and bizarre human behavior, I just wanted this disclaimer in writing for the peace of mind of all concerned. I do care what they think, but in their words, I just don’t listen.

So, until Sunday …


dianna said...

Well, last week I had the incredible experience of being on the side of being thought I was that needy person. I went to a Thanksgiving dinner in a area that suffers from poverty and human mistreatment. I know... I am being nice. I'm not really one of them, but I am excited about those helping those who are barely getting by or have little hope for the future.

A mega church in town offered to help and put on a grand feast for the less fortunate. Hey remember, I'm not one of them, either one of them, just there to show support and help with my part and hopefully be a blessing!

I had just finished a most delicious turkey dinner, lavished on by all the volunteers from the prosperous church. Then it happened, a kind soul came over to my table and gently rubbed my back and smiling invited me back at 4 to get refills, and take back to my friends. I sat in shock, inside feeling so weird, not wanting to be misunderstood or make a scene. I smiled and said thank you.

I don't know what the answer is.
It's complicated is all I know. I didn't like what I felt, no way around it, humbled.

Keep up the good work Marla!

Sarah said...

no good deed goes unpunished. i hope your sisters will change their minds someday. hugs.

Lily Robinson said...

I admire you. Mr J feels the same way your sisters do... like I'd do something dangerous. Hey, I drive on the highway! Isn't that dangerous? But anyway... I understand both sides. I wish they could all understand that when God calls you to do something, He sometimes asks a lot.

Oklahoma Granny said...

Our grandsons (ages 17 & 15) race with a young man (29) who is in the Army. He's completed 2 tours in Iraq. Tonight we'll be celebrating his last night at home for at least a year. He is being deployed to Afghanistan. Please pray for him and his group. I will pray for you this weekend as you go about helping those less fortunate. God bless you!

Jeremy said...

I am just shocked you didn't bring the homeless guy to my home office to feed him.

Unknown Mami said...

I live in a city full of homelessness. If I go out to eat and I have left overs I walk out on the street and place them on top a trash can, or newspaper stand. Someone always takes it.

Balazs & Leah said...

Hi Marla! I love what you are doing because I think that it helps us to get the focus off of us and onto others and that is what we see Jesus do. It doesn't really matter what you do, just love and serve others and Jesus will be glorified. So we are praying for God to teach you and use you through this process. Regarding the fear for you and your family, every day we put ourselves or our family at risk when we serve Jesus. Did He say we should not? No, in fact all of His disciples were willing (and many did) die for Him. People all over the world die just for proclaiming His name each day. When did we get to this place of putting our safety and security above the needs of others? Satan wins one every time we do that! Just seek wisdom form the Holy Spirit as you are seeking to please God with your life and He will lead you each step of the way!

Boomer Pie said...

Let us know how your "homeless" venture turns out. Sometimes you just have to do what you feel is right regardless of what others think. To thy own self be true. Safe travels from OK to FLA.

Anonymous said...

Morning Marla!

Thank you for stopping by my blog and posting. Good luck on the drawing too!

What a blog indeed here.. true from the heart feelings that just about everyone has had sometime events happen. Thanks for letting me peek into the 'season' of hope and humanity.


Just Playin' said...

Sounds like you have a lot of movement coming up in your life and those you love. All the best to your son and DIL. Follow your heart and your head in your 'giving' endeavours. I like what Unknown Mami said.

Kate said...

Sorry to hear you are having problems with your sister. I kind of see your point with the homeless guy about not doing things to make yourself feel better but I think many homeless people would have appreciated the gesture.

Kate x

Workforced said...

Count yourself lucky! If my family knew what I was writing about they would whoop my ass!

Don Joe

Mama Zen said...

You are incredibly kind and brave!

plainolebob said...

Marla, you are wonderful.

Marla said...

Hey Di ~ One of the items on the list is to eat with the homeless. Thanks for being the first and sharing your experience with me. So, will you go with me when it's my turn? Love you, D!

Sarah ~ Thanks. Me too.

Lily ~ I laugh in the face of danger. Not really. I usually scream like a girl and run.

Ok Granny ~ I am praying. Our oldest son was in Iraq and lost his best friend in Afghanistan. Tough stuff, this life.

Jeremy ~ Is that an invitation?

Mami ~ What a nice thing to do and a great idea. I knew I liked you for a reason. :-)

Leah ~ What an amazing woman the little girl I knew has grown into. I am so proud of you, Leah and I covet your prayers always. I love you, Leah!

Boomer ~ Yes and thank you!

Olivia ~ Thank you!

Just Playin ~ Definately true & thank you. Mami is awesome!

Kate ~ Thanks! It was a good lesson to learn.

Don Joe ~ I won't tell. :-)

Mama Zen ~ I am actually quite the chicken hearted but thank you! :-)

Bob ~ I know you are but what am I? :-)

sandy said...

Sorry to hear things aren't good with the fam, their concern is understandable. Not all homeless folks want food, some want only money to buy booze and drugs; some are criminals and some honest fear along with respect is a good idea.

You've touched on something important, many people do for others for the wrong reasons. The balance between us feeling good and doing good, or doing the right kinds of good isn't always easy.

When you venture in their world, they are stand offish, they don't trust outsiders and for good reason. Many are running for the law, and in many cities are harassed by the the law even if not criminals.

Take Care

Marla said...

Sandy ~ Your advice of some honest fear along with respect being a good idea is definately being heeded. I have compassion but I won't be stupid. Wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove.

Thanks, Sandy!!

Rechelle said...

Dear Marla - Well - I am reading your blog and enjoying myself tremendously. Sisters can be very difficult can't they.

Marla said...

Rechelle ~ Thanks for reading! Yes, sisters are a challenge. Just ask my sisters.