An adventure in redistributing resources & shortening the gap.
How can we spend 2017 bridging that gap between those of us who have and those who are in need? Perhaps this year could be the year to know and work with someone who’s illiterate, abused, homeless, terminally ill, or a refugee trying to navigate a new culture. What if we measured our spiritual growth this year in knowing people personally who have a different set of needs than us emotionally, economically, relationally, or physically?
In Luke 3, John challenges the people of God to "produce fruit in keeping with their repentance." Apparently, there were needs among them going un-cared for. Rather than thinking of themselves as better off or more righteous than they were he says, “If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry.” (v.11)
Begin by asking, what is something I have – that’s of value but little use – that I could share. Identify duplicate items in your closets, garage, & pantry that benefits someone or meets a need.
- A warm coat, scarf, hat, gloves, flannel, socks, shoes, blankets, rain poncho,
- A Thermos of coffee, coffee coupons, or instant coffee packets, ramen noodles
- Toiletries (deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste/brushes, razor);
- Old cell phone & charger (even without a service plan, they can still dial 911. These are helpful to offer to women’s shelters in event of emergency)
Once you've collected items:
Find someone who would benefit from it and offer it to them directly (rather than dropping off at a thrift store). As you’re going about your day, learn see your own resources, opportunities, and needs of others differently.
Create a mobile pantry. Stock the trunk of your with provisions and take the long way home. Find people in need and meet that need. Or, find another time, load up the family or meet friends to seek people in need. Another idea is visit some of the refugee apartments and visit families door-to-door. Take time to ask their needs and how you might pray for them.
Use your neighborhoods to publicize what we’re doing. Use Next Door App and neighborhood email lists. Share with them our desire to ‘shorten the gap’ between those of us who “have” and those in need. Give a time frame and final call and have them drop off items on your front porch. Invite any neighbors to distribute on their own or with you. Also, ask neighbors and friends if they know of individuals in need.
On the weekend of Feb.19th, Schedule a Tribe delivery to distribute provisions among our homeless neighbors, refugee, and immigrant communities. The point is to shorten the gap between those who have and those without.