“What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.”
– Saint Augustine
As many of you read in my blog post a couple weeks ago. In a time of pain, I had this calling to bake cookies for the homeless. Whenever I am going through a hard time, serving and loving others always helps me heal. I have always loved serving others. I don’t think I have ever gone more than 3 weeks without volunteering since I was 16 years old. Its my passion and my driving force. There is just a power that grows in your heart when you know others are feeling loved and happy.
The past couple weeks there has been a lot of pain and questioning God. I have been going to daily mass a lot and spending a lot of time in pray. I have felt as if the devil is playing with my heart and tossing it around through the fire. But, God has been giving his all to breakthrough and graciously hold my heart tight in his hands again. He knitted my heart, and knows it better than me. He knows what it needs and I can TRUST in that. He knitted it to withstand any difficult encounter. In these moments, I have to embrace my pain and know that God is bringing me closer to his heart. This is my chance to grow a stronger and more full heart. This is my chance to turn suffering into offering and pain into unfathomable love! God didn’t give me this big ole heart to mope around, he gave me it to serve and share love – and that I WILL do.
I always see others go on mission trips to other countries, and I have always wished I could, but paying off student loans makes it a little hard to save up money for a mission trip. I always ask the Lord to show me his calling for me and give me the heart to follow it. Through many encounters he was showed me that I don’t need to go on a mission trip because there are people in my OWN city hurting. Beautiful people HERE, in my own city, are broken, lost, lonely, and unloved. Thats when I knew he wanted me to use my smile, baking skills, and love to give to those who are in deep need. I know I’m not going to touch the hearts of everyone, but I know that I will give at least ONE heart the feeling of God’s love, and that means more than none. We are all one body and all parts need lifted.
So on Friday, I had the day off work. I went on a run at my favorite park, bought some Christmas decorations at Target, and started baking some monster cookies.
On Saturday, around noon, I decided to venture out onto the streets of Columbus to find people in need of some simple love in the form of cookies and smiles.
I was walking and hadn’t came across any homeless people for about 20 minutes. Then, suddenly in an ally off the main road there were 4 men. I passed it and I kind of laughed and thought,”Oh God, you would…” I kept walking. Then, thought “Oh fine, Lord. This is your will.” Turned around and started walking towards them. If I told you I wasn’t nervous, I’d be lying. But, I knew God wanted me to march my way towards those men and show them love, so I felt safe, even though my dad wasn’t too happy about this when I told him later. (Sorry Dad) But, Guess what?
They were so pleasant. So thankful. So honest. So human. So REAL.
As I was talking to them and asking to hear about their struggles, so much strength was pouring out of them. We talked about being thankful for God, because if it wasn’t for him, they didn’t think they’d still be here. I told them I was inspired by their strength and to keep fighting the good fight. I chit-chatted with one of them for a little bit. His name was Mr. Bill. He is a veteran and was telling me about the night terrors he used to have after serving in Vietnam. He also had a stroke 5 years ago. He can only see out one eye and hear out one ear. He could barley move his right arm and had a fake right leg. One of the last things Mr. Bill said to me was, “You’re smile is beautiful. You remind me of a woman. A woman who was the reason I put down my gun one day. I almost went to prison for that. I had to suffer two more years there, being asked to kill innocent woman and children. I couldn’t do it. It destroyed me. This is only the second time in my life I have told this story. I honestly will probably have a nightmare tonight. That’s why I don’t talk about it. But, I can tell you have a lot of love inside you and keep sharing that because this world needs it.”
I hugged two of the men and I went on my way.
The next lady I came across was sitting down with a sign. I sat next to her, gave her a bag of cookies and started talking. She told me her and her husband were staying in a tent on the railroad tracks with a group of homeless people. She said the shelters are getting full since its getting colder. Life was getting hard, she was getting nervous.
Then, I talked to an old man, with a long white beard and very few teeth. He was sitting on a bench asking for money. I gave him some cookies and then he immediately stood up. We shook hands and he introduced his name as “Danny” but everyone at the Dream Center knows him as “Shorty Ice.” I had never heard of the Dream Center, he told me all these goods things about it, so I had to googled it later. I ended up signing up to volunteer with cooking/serving on Thanksgiving Day, maybe I’ll see him again! Something he told me was,
“Everyday I thank God for opening my eyes. Yeah things are really crappy right now, but I thank him everyday for opening my eyes and giving me another day to live.”
NOW THATS POWERFUL.
Overall, I am really thankful I talked to these people. The Lord is revealing a lot to me and opening my eyes to the many unique people he has created. My heart grew more full yesterday. My heart felt Jesus while encountering these people. Everyone is struggling and everyone needs love. Sometimes we have to let go of our pride to open our hearts to the weak and hurting. We all our fighting our own battles, we all have made mistakes, but most importantly we our all FORGIVEN and LOVED.
Yummy cookies filled with all sorts of goodies.
- 2 sticks butters (1 cup), softened
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- ½ cup white granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 2/3 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¾ cup oats
- ½ cup mini MNMs
- ½ cup chocolate chunks
- ½ cup butterscotch chips
- ½ cup peanut butter chips
- Cream the butter, then beat in the sugars.
- Beat in two eggs and 2 tsp vanilla.
- Gradually mix in the flour, baking soda, and salt.
- Roll in the oats, MNMS, chocolate chunks, butterscotch chips, and peanut butter chips.
- Refrigerate the dough for 1-2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Roll into 2 inch balls, baking 12 out a time for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.