Reading and Hope

There’s a little girl who comes to Thursday Night Lights who has captured my heart. 

We’ve talked about Joan before (I’ve changed her name) but seeing her this week gave me an idea…

She’s out of school for the summer, so I know Joan spends most of her time alone. 

Several weeks ago, I was given some books by a friend who moved back to Shreveport, Louisiana. Many of them were young adult fiction books. 

I asked Joan if she likes to read and she does! Next Thursday I’m bringing her a few books. 

Joan’s 11, which is around the time my own love of reading took off. I bet Joan will have the same experience. 

No matter how bleak the circumstances, the settings of a good book draw you in.

 I’m not recommending reading as a method of escapism, but more as a method of seeing that there’s a world beyond your circumstances. 

Imagination is a powerful force. 

My hope for Joan is that she doesn’t look at her circumstances and think, “This is it.”

Obviously, a relationship with Jesus is what Joan really needs. And I plan on talking with her more about that. 

I just remember how much reading impacted my life as a child. 

If you live in the Tulsa area and have some books you’d like to see go to a good cause, I have some friends who would greatly appreciate your generosity. 

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Thursday Night Lights

I made a new friend today. 

Well, I made several new friends today because I had the opportunity to serve during Thursday Night Lights. 

Every Thursday a group of believers come together to serve and eat dinner with the homeless. 

A local missionary to the homeless brings a truck and trailer loaded with picnic tables and other supplies. 

Different groups volunteer each week to prepare dinner. It truly is a collaborative work within the body of Christ. 

My favorite part was hanging out with the men and women. One of my new friends is a little girl–let’s call her Joan–who is the same age as my sister Sofia. 

She was super shy at first but by the end of the night I got her to smile at me. 

Her smile was beautiful and it absolutely broke my heart…

What’s her daily life like? 

What are her dreams?

These are the questions that were burning in my heart. And if you know me at all, I will ask her these questions in due time. 

I’m reading through Matthew’s gospel and already there have been 3 times that Jesus was moved with compassion when He saw the multitudes. 

My heart was filled with compassion today. I never want to look at a man or woman and not see them as Christ sees them:

Loved. 

Accepted. 

Worth every sacrifice. 

I know that there’s a stigma about the homeless, but my goal is to take all my preconceived notions and throw them in the trash. 

It’s not my job to sit around and rank the people according to their various levels of poverty. 

Who is that helping?

My only job is to love people, to be their friend, and keep pointing them back to Jesus. 

Joan’s smile is still in my head…

All I see is the bright future that Christ has in mind for her. I look forward to getting to know my new friend and helping her see it, too.