The first post can be found here: Meeting the Physical Needs of Others, Part 1
There was a time about 10 years ago when we had little to no income. We were living in another state in a house that we were buying. At the time we bought it, we made sure that it was well within our means. We were careful not to stretch our budget too tight.
Then 9/11 hit, less than a month after Dave was laid off from a high-tech place where others had told him that he had to have job security because of the nature of his job. Ha! He was laid off anyway. After 9/11, all the companies froze hiring. Where there had been pages of jobs before, there were now none. Yep…NONE!
We were out of debt other than the house, an old, used RV we had gotten at a good price with an extremely good loan and a monthly RV park membership. The Credit Union worked with us, bringing the loan payment down temporarily to about 1/3 of what it had been. Our vehicles were paid for and our credit cards at 0 balances. We even had some savings. So, we were not too concerned…at first.
Then time went on and we reached the point where we could not afford our mortgage. A couple we know, out of the blue, sent us a check for one month’s mortgage. Another couple we know were in the middle of a kitchen remodel. Abba put it on their hearts to give the money they were spending monthly on their remodel to us to pay our mortgage. We were floored. We had not asked them for help. They just did it. They made a huge sacrifice, as anyone who has ever done remodeling will understand, to keep the mess for about three months longer. I cannot begin to tell you how touched we were by their generosity.
One day, at a funeral service, we saw the loan broker who had helped us get into the house. She was in the parking lot getting a change of shoes out of her car which was packed solid with clothes and assorted items. As the conversation progressed, we discovered that she had suffered a minor stroke and was actually living out of her car. She was functioning, but she was unable to work her job because she could not run the numbers like before. She was also constantly battling the government for help with her medical expenses, which was even harder to do when she had no permanent address.
At that point, Dave and I just looked at each other and told her to come live with us. For us, it was a no brainer…it was simply something we had to do. We moved her into the upstairs family room. It had no door, so we had to hang something up to give her privacy, but it really helped her. Was it easy having someone else in the house. No, but it sure was worth it!
Our house had a very odd layout. The front door was upstairs. The extra bathroom was downstairs. We had to be patient as she very slowly went up and down. She was not too steady, so there were lots of coffee stains on the carpet. But that was of little importance to us. She was WAY MORE important than our material goods! It was a sacrifice for us, but it was also a blessing to be able to help another person.
Before Dave, I was a single mom with two children. My ex went bankrupt and I had no spousal or child support coming in. My sons and I ended up moving in with another family until the end of the school year so that the boys would not have to change schools. My neighbor had a term job open which she offered to me when she found out why I was moving.
When the school year ended, we moved in with a second family. I thought I had found a place I could stay while I recovered from the divorce and got on my feet. Apparently, the husband had different ideas. He not only tried to tell me how to run my life (without having a real knowledge of the details and people involved), but it was only about two weeks later that I found myself needing another place to live. By that time, my term job was also coming to an end. I had no money, no job and no place to go. Thankfully, yet another family took us in.
That third family let us stay longer. Plus, there was an opening at the company where the husband/father worked. With his help, I got that job. That gave me an income and a safe place for us to live. Finally, I had a bit of a desperately needed real respite.
They paid a huge price for taking us into their home. Our presence really disrupted their family life. None of us knew until after we were in that one of their sons and my oldest had met and not gotten along. We were all struggling with the divorce and what we had experienced as a family and continued to experience. Plus, all the years of abuse and mistreatment from my childhood and adult life were impacting me in ways I did not understand. It was called doing life…one day at a time.
It was a really rough time on all of us, but that family helped us to get grounded. We desperately needed their help and they gave it, in spite of the difficulties we brought with us. We really appreciate all they did and gave. I know that Abba must have a crown waiting in heaven for them for what they did.
I share these things to say that we have been on both sides of the fence. We understand what it is to be in need and what it is to help others. We understand the sacrifices involved. It is not easy…on either side. But it MUST be done!
Please, I urge you to be open to meeting the needs of others. Allow yourself to be used of G-d. Reach out.
I don’t know where my family would be if not for the help we have received at different times. The woman we took in told us more than once that she had no idea what she would have done or where she would have ended up if we had not taken her in. She had exhausted her resources. She credits us with literally saving her life. She needed a safe place to live where she would not be rushed…where she could breathe and do what she needed to do.
Please do not ignore the people in need. What if it was YOUR parents, YOUR children, YOUR brothers and sisters? Wouldn’t you want someone to help them? Then help others…for everyone is someone’s son or daughter, brother or sister, father or mother.
And while you are taking care of those “must meet” physical needs, pay attention to another kind of need that is equal to and, sometimes even greater, in importance. I will address that in the next post.