I couldn’t wait to get home and stay home tonight. It is bitter cold, and it feels like the best place to be. As I sit down by the fireplace, my thoughts keep wandering to those who have no place to call home. I know the shelters are full and there are people still sleeping under bridges. I know some people have housing but don’t have money to get their heat turned on. I know there are kids without proper winter clothing in this bitter cold, and not just kids but adults without hats and mittens and a warm winter coat. I find myself disrupted in my spirit tonight about how I am able to enjoy an abundance of warmth and someone else shivers through the night tonight.
I was with a friend the other night, and we had just dropped off some Christmas gifts for a family. We were discussing why we would help someone only at Christmas if their needs are year round? We began to consider all the resources that are in our community and dreaming about what it would look like for cities to have a sponsor a family program. Through that program, we could share the wealth we are blessed with and bring relationship, care, kindness, warmth, and food along with a wide array of other things. I was energized by the moments in the car on Christmas Eve, as the snow fell gently around us, dreaming of how we can all step up and love our neighbor in new and consistent ways in 2018.
I invite you to consider how your life would be different if you committed to loving your neighbor in the coming year. I am not sure who your neighbor would be, but I would guess there might be someone who comes to mind.
Consider committing to one individual or family and offering to walk alongside them in the coming year, supporting and encouraging, praying for them and sharing in friendship, experiences, and resources. Learn from one another, laugh with each other, and journey together during hard seasons and good seasons.
I believe that if we dare to risk, we can bring love, laughter, and hope to places we never imagined, and deep within our own hearts, we will also feel love, laughter, and hope multiply!