"I just received word that I do not have to leave the premises until next Friday. Can I still come next Friday?"
"Of course." I replied. "I have your room ready for you."
Suddenly the man's voice on the other end of the line trembled. "I... I can't believe you are doing this for me. I mean... I'm... I'm a stranger! I ... I really appreciate this. Thank you. Thank you so much!"
Foreclosures are at an all time high in my county. I suspect this is true in many communities all across the U.S. They are occurring for a variety of reasons. Even as I write this my husband and I have no idea how we will pay our own mortgage in October. We experienced a substantial loss of income when I was put on a medical leave of absence last January and as of yet, I am not cleared to go back to work nor have any disability claims yet been approved. All I can say is that over the past year, God has faithfully provided what we need, when we need it and we know that He is the one who cares for us.
Last Wednesday night, we were visiting with a friend who has faced crisis after crisis over the past few years. According to the world, he lost everything including his marriage. You would have expected him to be cursing God but instead he is praising God. Out of those ashes, emerged a ministry of hope which puts Matthew 25:35-40 into action.
for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me. Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'
Are we doing this?
The coffee shop was closing so we continued our conversation outside at one of the tables. Our friend was going to need to leave in about 15 minutes. He was heading to meet a man he had been working with who was losing his home. He had to be out on Thursday or Friday and our friend had been trying to find him a place to live.
I looked at my husband and then spoke up. "But you haven't yet."
"No, I've got some leads but there is nothing definite yet."
My husband and I spoke together.
"We have a room where he can stay until something more permanent can be arranged."
Our friend knows our situation and asked, "Are you sure?" Yes, we were sure. It is not a permanent solution and everyone involved is well aware of that. It is simply a safe place of refuge and a simple reminder that we are not alone in this world.
My husband and I never bought a house until five years ago. When we turned the key and stepped into this house, we dedicated it to God. It is not our house, it is His. He just made us stewards over it. Our homes, our possessions, are they yours or do they belong to God?
When we stand before God will He say:
Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: (Matthew 25:34]Or will He say:
Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: or I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.' "Then they also will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?' Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' Matthew 25:41b-45