I just wrote about what prompted us to put together blessings bags. When we were putting them together (scroll to the bottom for a list of what we put in ours), I tried to imagine what it would be like handing them out. I had done things like this before. I volunteered in a small homeless shelter some in college. I've been on mission trips. Witnessed to people at the crisis pregnancy center I work at. But handing these out would be different for some reason. Maybe it was because I would be alone. Or maybe it was because my 4 year old might be with me. I don't know what it was, but it felt different.
The Friday before Mother's Day I did some observation for a new job (I absolutely CANNOT wait to tell you all about!) and had to run a few errands when I got back into town. My brother and sis-in-law had just gotten here from Oklahoma the night before and I was in a hurry to get to my mom's house to see them. But I just had to go to the store before I did. As I pulled into the parking lot, I saw a women holding a cardboard sign saying she needed prayer.
I felt a conviction and knew I needed to talk with her. I went in the store first and prayed while I shopped. I made my purchases and as I left the store, I looked to see if she was still there and she was.
I usually wouldn't offer cash to a stranger. I hate to admit it, but I am always a little concerned of what they may do with it, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was supposed to give this women some money. While I was praying I finally accepted the fact that this was what I was supposed to do and told God he wins, I would give her whatever I had in my wallet (normally I don't carry ANY cash). But guess what, there was a $20 in my wallet that day. I honestly have no idea where it came from.
I drove over to her, parked the car and approached the stop sign where this lady was standing. I handed her the grocery bag with the blessings bag in it and a couple bottles of water. I told her I really felt like I was supposed to give her this and handed her the twenty. She took the bag and the cash and looked a little teary eyed.
Her name was Marsha.
She said she had a car, but the tank was on E. She said she slept in that car lastnight. I told her there wasn't much in the bag, but she said she was just trying to figure out how she was going to eat dinner and that anything would help. I asked if she had any family here, if she was from around here. She broke eye contact and told me it was just her and her son, they moved here from the Northern part of the state a few years ago. And that she lost her son about 2 years ago now. She has family back in Northern Kentucky and would like to get there.
I asked if anyone had stopped and talked with her. She said not really. But a few people had handed her a couple of ones and some change out their window. I asked if I could pray with her. She said she knows that is what she reallly needs. So we stood there at the stop sign in front of wal*art and we prayed. I noticed a women circling us before we prayed and I heard a car pull up and stop while we were praying.
When I finished, she was crying. The woman in the car waved a $5 at her and I just hugged her and walked away.
Will you join me in praying for Marsha?
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Here is a list of what we included in our blessings bags...
*travel size tissues
*peanut butter crackers
*travel size hand lotion
*travel size sunscreen
*travel pack that included a toothbrush and toothpaste
*new pair of socks
*flavored water packets (capr.i sun)
*tracks about salvation and "why bad things happen"
We squeezed all these things in a gallon size ziplock bag and prayed over them and we keep a couple in the car.