Sunday, March 1, 2009

melissa

Yesterday we went to the motel again to give food to the residents there and play with the kids. (You can read this post if you want to hear about how we got involved in this ministry). We learned more about how the motel works. Basically, the residents pay what they can and a non-profit pays the rest of their rent. These are people who were homeless.

I will admit that Blake and I have debated if we should continue with this ministry. We have a few issues with how it is run. We went yesterday wondering if it would be our last time.

The first time we went I tried to talk to one woman with a baby close in age to Tyler. She pretty much blew me off. If you know me, you know that it's a really big deal that I even managed to approach someone and initiate a conversation. I'm a little bit on the shy side (to say the least). So, I was obviously discouraged. The second time we went I tried to talk to this woman again and got a little bit more of a response. And then yesterday. Yesterday this woman became my friend. Her name is Melissa and she has a 4 and 2 year old and a 4 month old. Riley played with her daughter, Brooklyn, the entire time that we were there while Melissa and I talked.

One part of our conversation really struck me. Melissa was talking about WIC (a government program that provides food, formula, and other baby items for low income women and children). She stopped talking all of a sudden and looked at me and said, "Oh, you probably don't know what WIC is." There was this dividing line between her and me. It was like she realized that I was different. I looked at Melissa and said, "Actually, I've been on WIC." Now, I'm certainly not going to pretend that I can even begin to understand what it is like to live in true poverty, in a motel room with 3 children, wondering how I am going to feed my children. But, I could see in Melissa's eyes that the line she had just drawn wasn't quite as strong as before. You see, I have brought my baby into the WIC offices every month and had her checked by their nurse to evaluate how well I was taking care of her and I have stood in the grocery store line and handed the cashier my vouchers while everyone behind me stared. I am not ashamed that I was on WIC, but it was still humiliating to have everyone in the grocery store line judging you as you paid with government vouchers. Yesterday, that humiliation was redeemed and helped my friend Melissa to see us as the equals that we are. Because we are all loved and treasured by our God equally. Actually, I truly believe that the poor are more treasured by our God and I know that He holds them so close to His heart. Weeping with them, protecting them, holding them.

Now I look forward to going back and building my friendship with Melissa. I am praying that Melissa trusts me and allows me into her life. I am praying that God will use me in her life. Because it is His work- I am merely trying to be the hands and feet.

5 comments:

Breanne said...

this is the kingdom - doin' big things... can't wait to get back home and do them with you :)

Kristin Vanzant said...

WIC rules. ;-)


I love your heart.

McCabe said...

i love this, sarah! so great hearing about your life via your blog. you and blake have such a Christ-like perspective on things and it pushes me to live my life worthy of the Gospel. hope all is well and tell blake "hi" for me!

Colton's Journey said...

I love it. It says volumes!
Lucy

Holly Priscilla said...

my fam was on WIC back in the day, too--woo for WIC! it is a very distinct dividing line at times (re: checkout lanes). way to be brave in seeking friendship.