It broke my heart!

For our community service project this week, we made Viste deliveries. Viste stands for Volunteers in Service to the Elderly. You deliver a box that has some pantry food, a shopping bag of bread and a bag of frozen items. We had 5 deliveries.

First, when we picked up the boxes, I was taken aback to see how little food there was in it. The older man said that donations were down so they weren’t as full as usual. Now, don’t get me wrong here. There was food in it. But for some of these older people, this is all the food that they get for the month. There was definitely not enough food to last more than a week along with a roll of toilet paper. So, when Logan and I came home to get Madison and Michael, we rummaged through our own stash and added to the box.

I had scored 30 bottles of shampoo and conditioner recently for .67 per bottle. I had also scored toilet paper for .25 a roll . We added several bottles and some more toilet paper. Then we were off for the first delivery. I nearly fainted.

If God was trying to open our eyes to see suffering, He most surely did it. The very first apartment we went to ended up being in a building that looked like it should be condemned. Surely people don’t live here, I thought. There is no way. But sure enough, there stood a very grateful elderly woman in a broken doorway. We stepped in to bring her food in and saw quite possibly the smallest apartment imaginable. The poor woman was sleeping on a cot in the room adjacent to the kitchen ( These were the only 2 rooms. I still can’t place where the bathroom was located.) Her cot had a blanket but no sheets and was filthy. I nearly cried right there on the spot. I wanted to bundle her up and bring her home. My heart broke for that poor woman.

We all spoke in the car about the heartbreaking scene. We decided that we would add sheets to her box next month for her bed. Certainly some extra food and a Bible. Thank God that the rest of the deliveries were to elderly people in better circumstances. That scene taught my children more about being the hands and feet of Jesus than any sermon ever could. That scene made our 2010 theme of service all the more real. Lord, may we have the courage to do Your work here on earth!

I wrote this post right after we returned then scheduled it to print. It really tore at my heart strings that I couldn’t do more for the woman. As I told the story to Logan’s physical therapist, she reminded me that sometimes God has us do as much as we can then leave it. He may have someone else in mind to help her or have us do it at another time. Either way, we are to do what we can then leave the rest to God and trust that He has a plan.

James 2:36
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.