They thought I was homeless. I had been preaching at the Mission for several months, but because of my teaching schedule, I hadn’t been able to check out what the ladies from several local churches were doing during the day. I had heard they were giving clothes and food to those in need. So, when I finally had a school holiday, I decided to check it out.
When I walked in the door, two ladies from Philadelphia Baptist Church introduced themselves to me and marched me right over to the clothes closet. “It looks like this jacket will fit you,” one lady said. “Go ahead and take it;” said the other, “it’s free and we want you to have it.” About that time, someone who knew I was the new pastor came over and told the ladies who I was. They laughed, “We thought you were a homeless guy in need of food and clothes.” I probably fit the part – unshaven and wearing my 10 year old cargo pants and a t-shirt. Looking back, it’s a wonder they didn’t try and find a suit that fit properly for me.
Every time I think of that story, a smile comes to my face. And what’s great about it is that five years later, those two ladies are still going strong – giving clothes, food, and a lot of love to those in need. And those two ladies, along with countless others, are the epitome of what Main Street Baptist Mission is all about. Without a doubt, they are true servants. They take literally Jesus’ command to “give without expecting anything in return.” There are so many who help us who do. We have dozens of churches and hundreds of individuals who serve at the Mission on a weekly or monthly basis. And they all do it without receiving anything in return. There is no pay, no retirement, no benefits. Some of the time, these churches and individuals serve without even receiving a “Thank You.” Sometimes they even serve people who have hard and ungrateful hearts. Sometimes the people they are serving can be down-right mean. Yet still these servants return. They return each week to serve another meal, to teach another class, to pray another prayer, to uplift another soul. They return to offer another jacket to a homeless-looking preacher in need. And in doing so, they have helped this preacher more than they will know.
So, thank you. Thank you to all those who serve. Thank you for giving selflessly week-in and week-out. Thank you for giving financially. Thank you for your time. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for doing the little things you thought no one would notice. Thanks you for being Jesus to those in need.