'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me.' – Jesus

Did you know people are living in their cars in parking lots throughout our city?

Did you know there are adults in town who have never been taught how to pay a bill or open a checking account?

Did you know there are elementary school children here who wear shoes three or four sizes too big because that’s all they can find in their home?

Did you know there are people in town that could not make it if not for the food they get from others each day?

I could go on with similar questions that test our individual and collective awareness of those among us who struggle daily to survive. I won’t only because the questions above should provide a bit more insight to what goes on outside the boundaries of our own comfortable lives. In all honesty, which I hope you’ve come to know is the premise of what I share with you each week, I’m ashamed of myself. To know that kids are going without while I’m constantly making certain mine has everything he needs — and more — is worthy of feeling shame. It just is.

One of the stark realities of this life is that it is a fleeting one. You know it, I know it. Yet, for many reasons, we can easily find ourselves focused on that which doesn’t much matter. In the name of full transparency, I’ve been known to spend a little more than I should on dopey things — whether shoes, Bama apparel, the latest gadget or whatever. Dopey doesn’t describe some of it to tell you the truth. And, to tell you even more truth, I’m pretty sure God is intentionally reminding me of better uses of money and time. Becoming more aware of the answers to the questions above is but one example of how He’s doing it.

There are many folks in this town who give of themselves in ways that deplete their own savings, who use almost every waking hour to reach the lost and who tend to the needs of the downtrodden more than they care for themselves. I’ve met them personally and, as I told one of them this past week, I have deep admiration for who they are. Another stark reality is that I must become more like them if I am to fulfill God’s purpose for my life.

Jesus walked this earth to find those who were lost and save them. He lived a life of such purpose so we could know what ours should be and, in knowing that, follow Him. I, for one, have a lot of work to do to measure up but am determined to give greater effort to helping those who tonight will sleep in a cramped car in the Walmart parking lot.

There is, after all, no greater purpose.