I have talked numerous times about my heart for the homeless. I just love serving them. Last year, probably around September, I took a hiatus from our ACTS ministry. With everything that was going on with this crazy head of mine, I started getting selfish with my time. Not wanting to give up a good portion of my Saturdays. Sometimes instead of going to ACTS, I would just lay in bed and stare at the wall. Knowing I needed to go, but not having the energy to force myself out of bed. Months went by, 6 months to be exact, where I did not serve.
I kept telling the ladies who run the ministry I would be back, they never gave up on me. Instead they included me in the emails, keeping me informed of meetings, etc. I told one of the ladies I would come back eventually and I was going through some stuff. She simply said, "Come back when you're ready." Two weeks ago, I thought I was ready, but I was wrong, I spent another Saturday being selfish of my time.
Today, I got out of bed bright and early, 5:30 to be exact. I enjoyed a much needed cup of coffee in silence. Today was the day, the day I was ready to go and serve these people that have a part of this heart of mine. Ready to stop being "woe is me" and share the love God has given me. I helped in the showers, it's my spot and I love working in there. We hand them toiletries, socks, underwear. You really get to connect to the women there. Once they receive everything, then they can go shower themselves.
All but one lady, Chrissy. Now, I thoroughly enjoy Chrissy and I have blogged about her before, go here. She is my favorite ACTS guest that comes. She constantly has me laughing. Today, God had something very unique in mind for me with her. Chrissy is the one lady who needs help in the showering department. She can't walk well, but can shower herself. However, she needs help undressing and dressing. Chrissy was out front and I was in the back. Voices behind me echo, "I can't do it, I have a bad back" said one. Another said, "I won't do it." For a short second I put myself in Chrissy's shoes and suddenly blurted out, "I've got it taken care of. Today, is my day to help her."
And that is what I did. I helped her in the bathroom, helped her get undressed, help her into the shower, helped her dress (adult diapers and all), combed her hair, volunteered to cut her toe nails, and put her socks and shoes on. Now, in case you live under a rock, I'm a huge germaphobe. I did all of this, including cutting her toe nails without any gloves on. I know the risk I put myself at, the stuff I might of come in contact with. I understand it better than anyone, but nothing bothered me today about helping her. The thought never occurred to me to put gloves on because in reality, if I was in her position, I still wanted to be treated like a human and not like a dirty villain. This was really nothing I hadn't done before. I grew up in an assisted living home. Do you know how many people I actually had to bathe living there? A lot. I felt so blessed to be able to help her. It gave us a chance to talk, I got to see an insight to her life today. She said I was happy and wanted to know what I was smoking. I laughed at that but crouched down to her level (she's in a wheelchair) and simply told her, "I am the way I am because of Jesus." She agreed that was the best stuff to smoke ever. Her and her boyfriend have been coming to church. It made me happy to know a seed has been planted.
I vowed to her that I will be here every weekend we have the outreach going on and would help her in the shower. In my head, I refused to let people talk about showering her, seeing her naked, blah, blah, blah and figured if I could do it once, I could do it again. If I don't help her, who knows how long it will be before she showers again? That's showing God's love no matter what the situation. After it was all said on done, I took her outside, copped a squat on the cement and put her feet up to my knees and clipped away at the toe nails and was the happiest I had been in awhile.