“There’s a scripture that I love and it became alive while serving with Up and Running Again, ‘And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Acts 20:35.” Maybe this is a verse you would think a resident at a rescue mission would cherish if they understand they are on the receiving end and are truly thankful. However, this previous participant in our program (we’ll call her Jane), truly understood that Jesus was calling each person, even someone struggling financially, to give.
Through text messages, Jane told me she was going to donate several hundred dollars to us through a wiring service that Walmart offers. She explained that she now graduated from the mission and is working, but hasn’t found a solid church where she wants to tithe. Gaining your wings after being at the mission can be hard and she has had her fair share of struggles with housing and jobs. Despite all this, she told me, “I know that my responsibility is to trust God even when things go the opposite way. He has a plan for my life and I just need to be faithful.”
Her faithfulness in giving back money to God (through Up and Running Again) speaks loudly to me of a story in the Bible. Does it trigger that story in your mind as well? I’m brought to the poor widow in Mark 12. Many rich people were tithing large amounts. The poor widow only dropped in a few coins, worth only a few cents. Yet Jesus in Mark 12: 43-44 said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything-all she had to live on.”
Jane truly has the heart of Christ. She went through our half marathon training a couple of times as a resident, and then came back to help others achieve their goal. She has told us, “Through you guys, Jesus showed me the beauty of serving.” Having now moved away from the area, she is greatly missing being part of the team and encouraging others. However I can’t help but feel that she is the one that is the most missed.