Before I write one word I’m praying this is much more than a cute story, but something that touches the deepest part of you. What I’m about to share has shaken, moved and broken the deepest part of me. Hopefully, I can share this with justice.
Recently, at Refuge Church we collected and purchased some heaters to help those struggling to keep warm during this cold time of year. After running out of our stored inventory, I set out to several local businesses in hopes of purchasing more. I discovered that due to extremely low temperatures the local demand was so great that electric heaters were no where to be found in most of the Low Country.
After locating several more heaters through donations and from my own home, I posted on the internet their free availability. In no time at all, my phone was ringing off the hook with local needs. On one of the coldest nights in Colleton County I found myself a distributor of some much needed heat. And as much as I feel those who received them were grateful, I was touched much deeper.
As I travelled to several cold homes throughout our County I met a wide variety of folks. I met widows fighting daily just to survive. I met families who just hoped to keep their lights on one more day. I saw a dad’s eyes filled with tears as He longed to keep his children safe and warm. I saw a single mother who was doing all she could day and night, yet still lived in a place most would call an absolute shack. But, what I really felt I saw was the heart of Colleton County.
Attention! News flash my friends. Colleton County is a struggling county. Physically, emotionally, mentally, financially, and spiritually. Sure, I love living here and I love the people. But, please understand that most of the residents here are struggling just to survive. Maybe someone reading this is one of them. I want you to know that because of you I can’t just go to sleep at night without thinking about you or your family. I can’t just kick back in my warm house, knowing that someone else is freezing at their house.
Too often those of us who have been so richly blessed waste the platforms God has given us. We all need to step out of our house and check on our neighbors more often. Especially as believers and followers of Christ we need to quit just talking about what we should do and actually get out in the community and do something that touches a life.
God never called any of us to just go to church, but to be the church. Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Secondly, Jesus says we’ve been commanded to love our neighbor as ourself.
When you love your neighbor as yourself, you are reflecting God’s love at its greatest. There is not a person around of any race, background or status that God does not dearly love. God sent His only son Jesus to die for all the world, not just a chosen few. If Jesus was willing to do anything to show His incredible love for us, we need to be willing to go the extra mile to show His love to our neighbors.
I pray this for us all. That as Christ representatives we won’t just pass peoply by and do nothing. That we will always care for those who are cold, hungry, lonely, less fortunate and just in desperate need of encountering some Jesus with skin. For I know, its when we most embody a Christ-like nature that we ourselves will feel the closest to God’s heart.
*Looking for a place where you will always feels loved, Christ will always be lifted and you will always leave encouraged? Join Pastor Craig Sundays 10:30a.m. @ the Colleton Rec Center.