Outside the Comfort Zone

All too often, “homeless” is synonymous with “pariah,” “unwanted” or “unloved.” Or perhaps all three. All too often people claim to love and see everyone equally, but only on their circumstances.

What happens when that circle of comfort gets tested? Does that love translate to society’s “outcasts?”

Sometime around mid-August of 2018, God opened a door for me to start serving regularly at OurCalling, and consequently, God expanded my comfort zone and gave me a servant-oriented heart and I’ve loved every minute of it.

After getting invited to help out in a session of the 12-step OurRecovery program one Saturday morning, I could feel my thoughts and perception change almost instantly. Was I really uncomfortable because I was sitting next to people who hadn’t showered in a few days? Was the “germophobe” in me paranoid of the table I was sitting at, wondering how many different strains of bacteria were crawling around? You bet.

But once I started hearing their stories, their struggles, their thoughts and feelings, the voice of reason resounded in my mind: Jesus doesn’t love them any less than he loves me. Jesus died for them just like he died for me.

I was flooded with an immense sense of gratitude for everything the Father had given me. I was thankful for God’s mercy and grace when I put myself into some trying situations.

In the weeks since that Saturday, I’ve noticed my struggles with discontentment and materialism take a back seat to the overwhelming desire to serve. I’m excited for each weekend and love the friends I have made. Doing dishes and mopping at home is a chore, but it doesn’t feel like work on Saturday mornings. A few things I really enjoy? Seeing the looks of gratitude and joy when our friends receive a hot cup of coffee or a freshly-prepared sandwich, and the gargantuan smiles that spread across their faces when the time is taken to remember their first names and call them by those names.

What’s really interesting is how the Father worked. I tried like crazy to serve on my terms, where I wanted and when I wanted. I had door after door shut in my face and I became frustrated. However, God had other plans. Why? I have no idea, but I’m glad he did. I encourage you to come down on a Saturday morning, get out your comfort zone and be the hands and feet in a ministry that God uses daily to transform lives and change the world one person at a time.

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