Last week I was blessed with the opportunity to once again serve the homeless of downtown San Diego. The church I attend does a monthly outreach to a mission called ‘God’s Extended Hand’ and each time we go someone normally shares a testimony or message before dinner. I have shared my testimony there before, and have visited this mission six times now. Something I always have noticed is the sense of shame that surrounds you as soon as you enter the building. It breaks my heart that on top of all the trials these people are already going through, they also have this feeling that they should feel ashamed and unworthy too. Many of them are unable to even look you in the eyes as they thank you for coming.
In the about section of this blog, I share how the Flower Child Ministries name basically comes from wearing flower crowns, which comes from the verse in Isaiah that talks about how Jesus came to “bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes.” Often during my own trials I imagine Jesus coming and taking away my ‘ashes’ and replacing them with a ‘crown of beauty.’ Through the weekly love actions and random acts of kindness, I hope others will come to experience this sort of uplifting too. For awhile now I have felt God pressing on me to do a love action that very specifically shares Isaiah 61:3, and each time I have visited God’s Extended Hand I have been filled with this desire to let the people know that they don’t have to be filled shamed and that they are truly precious! So I told the missions director about the idea God had given me, and the message to go along with it, and she said it would be a great thing to share! I can’t stress how honored I feel each time I am given the opportunity to work alongside God and other believers to bring glory to God’s Kingdom!
When we arrived at the mission, we passed out paper crowns that I had cut out and a bunch of supplies to decorate them with. I shared my message, and the whole team was able to work together with the people there making crowns and feeling like royal children of God! The message was so well received and the activity went great. It really seemed to open people up to sharing with us all. Many people came up and asked for prayer or shared stories of their own. One lady told me that it was the most joyful day of her life. She talked about how as a child she was never given the opportunity to do any sort of craft or anything like that, but how in that moment she finally felt like she was able to be a child. That she was able to sit their with her Father in Heaven and feel the joy, elation, and simpleness in just making something, playing, creating, laughing alongside Him.
Society tells us that certain situations people find themselves in make them less worthy than others. There are definitely certain groups of people who are looked down upon. This week I challenge you to find someone in a situation like that and let them know that no matter how desperate or shocking their lives may seem, those things shouldn’t define them or make up their true identity. Just because society says that they should feel ashamed, does not mean that they have to be trapped by shame. Show them love even in the most simple way, like stopping and telling them they are beautiful. To read the message I shared, and also to read more about what should define our identity, please follow this link: http://ramblingrf.blogspot.com/2015/04/accepting-your-true-identity.html
Thank you so much for reading and have a fantastic week!