I used to have a negative attitude towards homeless people. As I watched them beg for money on the side of the road, I assumed any pocket change they would receive was going towards drugs or alcohol.
I started my own business when I was twenty years old, so I could not understand why people couldn’t do the same thing for themselves. I would compare my life to those that I saw sleeping outside buildings or holding cardboard signs claiming that they were in need of whatever it was people would believe.
I believed people could do better for themselves if they wanted to.
Following some difficult times in my life, my heart was changed and my spirit was broken. My circumstances ultimately changed me for the better and my once lackluster compassion for people began to soften. I began to see people for who they truly were, considering their own difficult times.
When I began to serve with Path of Life Homeless Ministries, I started to think about what led these people to a life of homelessness - something I had never thought about before.
I always figured they were lazy or that they wanted take advantage of the “system,” but serving at Path of Life began to help me see the person behind the label I had given them.
I serve meals twice a month to the people at Path of Life. Typically, we serve about 75 people throughout the course of the year, but we serve up to 125 people around the holidays. Watching the thankfulness in the faces of these people has humbled me. As I serve them a hot, home-cooked meal, I can see their faces light up and I realize, under different circumstances, that face I am looking at could have been me.
Serving others truly puts your own life into perspective and you begin to see how blessed you truly are.
I am thankful to have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the people at Path of Life and am able to give back some of what God has given me. A hot meal and a warm jacket can make people feel loved and once they feel cared for by another human being, they begin to open their hearts to hear about Jesus.
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