To be whole…check out the GRAFFITI on the other side of the street

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How can you understand what it’s like to be homeless if you’ve always had a roof over your head?

How do you know what it feels like to starve if you’ve always had food to eat?

How do you know what it’s like to be thirsty if you’ve always had clean water to drink?

We  take for granted the things we are used to having every day. (Tweet that Smile)

     Would you appreciate staring at your beautiful daughter more if you were once blind?

     Would you be more anxious to listen to the sound of wind blowing through the trees if you lost your hearing for a period of time?

     Would you hug your husband more if you knew he would never walk through the door again?

Goodness knows I’m as guilty as anyone. We get so wrapped up in our lives…it all becomes about us. I, I, I, me, me, me.

We stay so busy in our own shoes, we don’t think about what it may be like in theirs. (You can tweet that too Wink)

My new internet buddy over at Positively Alene has challenged us to step out of our comfort zone. Step “over the tracks” so to speak to meed people we wouldn’t otherwise encounter. She has a great new book out on the subject, GAFFITI~Scribbles from Different Sides of the Street,graffitibook which she cowrote with a homeless man. Talk about perspective! And now she is offering a free Bible Study the book, GRAFFITI Study and Do, that you can download by clicking HERE.

In all honesty, I stumbled into this study before I really knew what it was all about. I read a blog post from one of my favorite blogggers, Susan Stillwell about “sharing my summer story.” If you read lots of blogs, you know it’s common to skim titles and first paragraphs and then go back and read them later. Only I signed myself up for the GRAFFFITI challenge before I went back to read.

Well, this summer is going to be very busy, and it has already started. While I may not get headed to Guatemala or even to the soup kitchen anytime soon, I will be headed to different sides of the street…and the world.

Just this week, we moved out of our house for our floors to be redone because of a leak and we are staying just off of a very busy intersection. One of the ones where we see men with the “will work for food” signs on each corner almost daily. As a woman with my children normally in the car, I say a prayer for them and move on. I hate it…every time. But unfortunately, we don’t live in the most trusting society. Thursday afternoon however, in the midst of 5:00 traffic on Woodruff Rd., Marlee (my 9-year-old) and I passed a family on the side of the road with a sign that read, “Lost My Job, Please help, I have two children to take care of. God Bless You.” And his wife and one of his children were sitting on the side of the road with them. I wanted to help them, but had no cash. Traffic was ridiculous, so we had to pass them by. But neither of us could get them off our mind.

We then pulled into the IHOP (which was packed with graduation celebrations) and purchased a $50 gift certificate, which also came with two $5 coupons, and fought the traffic to get back to them. They were extremely appreciative. I thought I saw the wife tear up.

As I said, we are certainly not in a third world country, but we live in a society where people still need help. I wish we could trust everyone we saw, and know that we are not being scammed. But here’s the thing. Marlee and I gave in the spirit of love. In the spirit of Jesus. I have no idea what happens to most of the money that I give…whether it’s at church, sponsoring a child, or handing it t someone on the street. But I do know that God nudged me to take action. He will take it from there and that’s all I need to know.

So I suppose this is the beginning of my GRAFFITI summer. Please don’t hate me, but my other side of the street will be the other side of the world in Prague in July. But you know? People need to see the love of God just as much there as anywhere. They might just not always know it.

Have you found yourself out of your comfort zone lately? Intentionally? Or without even realizing it?

What did you do to make a difference?

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Do you remember the American Idol runner up Chris Sligh? He passed one of those men with the “will work for food” sign right here on this same intersection. He passed the fellow with the sign and immediately wanted to turn around. Only if you know the traffic on Woodruff Rd, you’d understand that it took him thirty minutes to get back to the intersection and the man was gone. He pulled over on the side of the road and wrote this song: Knowing the story behind it makes it that much more powerful.

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Comments

  1. So thankful that despite your crazy busy schedule you are joining us. And your posts has me in tears. I guess I realize that in a blink of an eye that there for the grace of God it could be me standing there on that corner.

    Can’t wait to see what God will lead you to the following weeks. Your heart is there — stopping amid the crazy hecticness of our days to help another. May we all learn from your example. Blessings!

    • CelesteVaughan says:

      Thanks Alene 🙂 Jesus always said, “What you do for the least of these…” and we never know when Jesus might be the one standing on that corner, just waiting for us.

  2. Cathy Baker says:

    OK, I definitely need to download this study! I also read about it on Susan’s blog and everything I’ve read about Alene I love. 🙂 Isn’t it great to share a sweet sistership in Christ via the internet?

    Celeste, thanks for reminding me tonight that when I’m staying in step with the Spirit, He will open my eyes to the needs around me in the here and now.

    • CelesteVaughan says:

      Thanks Cathy! I’m going to try to keep up with the study, but I jumped it kinda quick and have a crazy summer ahead. But I will definitely be crossing the tracks and the ocean, so there’s no telling what I’ll be getting into! I REALLY want to have time to blog while I’m in Europe, because I’ll never remember it as well if I wait until I get home.

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