Finally, I had an idea - gift cards - a practical way to help, while not risking money being spent on drugs or alcohol. So I decided to make a care package of sorts. I bought some gift cards to healthy-ish food places and put it in a card with an encouraging note. I, of course, do not want to meet only someone's physical need but want to make sure I minister to their spiritual need as well. So in the card I included a small book that explains the Gospel. I made a few of these care packs and put them in my glove compartment so they would always be handy. My hope was that this care package communicates that someone cares about them and that they have worth, ministering to their felt-need and their real need.
>>Flash forward>> I decide to pull over and give one of these care packages to this man. I parked and crossed the street. I shook his hand, introduced myself, and asked him about his situation. His name is Ronnie. He has some kind of blood disease and lost half of one of his legs. He is unemployed, thus the reason he was out there. I gave him the card and explained I had to go because I was on my way to an appointment. I told him I would pray for him. He was very grateful.
I wanted to ask you to say a quick prayer for him too.
I also challenge you to think about how you can reach out to others in need. Will you make care packs like mine? Will you get creative and think of other ways to reach out to others in need? If you do come up with other ideas I would like to hear them, so tell me about them. Of course asking God to provide for others is good. But we have to beware that we are not praying for God to provide for those in need only through other people. If we have the ability would not our faith and love move us to take action ourselves and be the answer to our own (and others') prayers? James 2:15–16 (ESV) says, "If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and filled,' without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?" I would be so bold as to say that if we have the ability to reach out to others in need and are praying for God to provide for them, yet are not taking any action personally, then we are lying to ourselves and to God in that we really do not want God to provide for them. So ask God how you can help others in need...and do it!