Mothers of Compassion
From Homeless to Business Owner
By Barbara Comito
Union Gospel Mission
Eddie Collins was the subject of my first newsletter feature when I
started working at the Union Gospel Mission in January 2008. His story
ran here in the Good News Northwest in March of that year. Eddie had
arrived at the Men’s Shelter a year earlier and was nearing the
end of the recovery program.
That interview with Eddie six years ago reminded me of my own
interview a few weeks earlier when I was applying to be the writer for
UGM: I told Executive Director Phil Altmeyer I might not know much
about homelessness, but I knew how to tell a story and I believed
everyone had a story to tell. Eddie illustrated my point perfectly.
Eddie Collins is a musician, a painter, a husband, a father, a
grandfather, a friend, a role model, and an enthusiastic lover of the
Lord. He used to be a meth addict. He used to be homeless. But by the
time I interviewed him, he had shed that identity.
"One of the big one–eighties I did in my program was to get
rid of the old me and classifying myself as a junkie – not because I
was still doing it but because I did it so I thought that was who I
would always be." Eddie said that identity change came during a
class on the book, Search for Significance by Robert McGee. "I
did not walk out of that class a junkie."
When I met Eddie, he and his wife, Kim, were divorced but in the
process of reconciliation. Later that year, after Eddie graduated from
the recovery program, they got remarried. Eddie went to work for UGM
as part of the maintenance team, and when the Center for Women &
Children opened in Coeur d’Alene, Eddie was hired as the
While it was never part of his job description, Eddie became something
of a poster boy for the Mission. In addition to the newsletter, Eddie
and his family were featured at the annual banquet. He’s been on
billboards, TV, radio and the featured subject of fundraising letters.
On two separate occasions, he and Kim came to my church, Knox
Presbyterian, to lead worship and share their testimonies.
Eddie has a huge heart of gratitude and has given sacrificially to the
ministry that helped him leave the old Eddie behind and begin anew.
He and Kim, financially stable for the first time in their married
lives, bought a house. And now, they’re starting a business,
Step Up Painting. Eddie is leaving the Mission and launching into a
whole new venture.
"When I finished the program, I vowed I would never be a painter
again." The painting business was tied to the old Eddie and held
a lot of triggers. "There’s so much baggage that comes with
the paint crew. They’re not well respected. They don’t
take drug tests because if they did, there wouldn’t be a crew,
you know, that type of thing. Alcoholics and drug addicts seem to
gravitate toward the paint crew because they’re accepted there,
and I just didn’t want to jeopardize my recovery by going back
As part of the maintenance team, however, Eddie had the opportunity to
start painting again, and he embraced it. "I learned that I had a
gift. There’s a talent there. I actually had something that a
lot of people don’t, and I learned that I could do this in a way
that would bless others.
"I don’t want to be part of the paint trade problem; I
want to be part of the paint trade rescue. I want to give guys a place
to work where they know they can have a good, clean Christian
environment. I see me opening this paint company as a ministry."
Another way Eddie sees God moving in this paint business is in giving
him an opportunity to work with his youngest son, Sky. Sky is a
musician, but like most musicians, the making money thing is a
struggle. "I don’t plan on Sky being a painter for the rest
of his life, but…he wants to come up underneath me and learn the paint
trade and work with me."
Eddie said he sees this as an opportunity to model a strong work
ethic, something he didn’t do when Sky was younger. "He
didn’t get to witness Dad get up and go to work every day. He
didn’t get to witness Dad come home beat tired every day. There
was no example of what life is really like for most men.
"My hope and prayer is that he just gets to work side by side
with me and see how his dad works, how his dad deals with the public,
how his dad doesn’t cuss, and how his dad gets up no matter what
the day is like. If it’s raining and you’re gonna get wet,
you’re gonna get wet. That’s what you signed up for. And
so, I just want him to see those things and learn those things."
God is in the business of redeeming broken things. For Eddie, God is
redeeming the paint trade, and God is redeeming the time he missed
with his son.
"The thing I was afraid of is the very thing I feel God calling
me to do."
Eddie is a licensed painting contractor in the state of Idaho. Contact
him for interior and exterior jobs, drywall, texture and fine
finishes: 208–641–9791 or eddie@Step–UpPainting.com
or find him on Facebook.
THE TOILET PAPER CAPER
"Toilet paper?" I questioned the Lord. "You want me to
buy toilet paper?" One morning while sitting in my
over–stuffed chair enjoying time with Jesus, I got a strong
sense to go to the discount store nearby and purchase toilet paper.
That seemed to be an unusual request, but I quickly reasoned I could
add to my dwindling supply, so I went.
As I walked into the store, I spotted a display of huge packages of
toilet paper. ON SALE, the sign read, ONLY $12.99. Only $12.99,"
I moaned, that’s a lot of money and all I need is a four pack.
Certain that I had heard the Lord tell me this place was where to buy
it, I took a stroll down every isle looking for a smaller package, but
it was not to be found. This is silly, I declared. I’m not going
to get such a large quantity of tissue—I don’t need it! Leaving
that establishment, I headed down the street to a nearby grocery
outlet determined to acquire something that suited me better. Finding
a more practical and cheaper package, I walked to the front, certain I
had made the right choice. However, the closer I got to the
check–out line, the less confident I became. "I know this
is not what God said to me," I silently admitted, I know He said
buy toilet paper at that discount store. My stride slowed and
hesitantly, I looked down at my bundle. Well, the package does say
Angel Soft. The Lord likes Angels doesn’t He? I quipped as I got
in line. Due to a problem in the checkout line, the cashier motioned
me to go to the next counter. OK, Lord!" I sheepishly spoke under
my breath. "I know this incident didn’t happen by
accident." It was now my chance to obey what I heard the Lord
say. I took the smaller package back to its place on the shelf and
returned to the discount store buying the bigger quantity of toilet
paper. Befuddled, I continued to try and lean on my own understanding
and asked the cashier, "Is this really a good deal?"
The next day, while waiting for the church service to begin, I told my
toilet paper caper to a friend sitting next to me. "Oh,
Linda," Victoria said, "I know exactly why God had you buy
that large amount. Do you realize that the homeless and poor struggle
to get T.P? They can’t use food stamps to buy it." She went
on to tell me that a ministry in a near–by town was giving away
free toilet paper and there was a long line of people waiting to get
some. "Oh, Lord," I admitted, "of course You had me buy
The following week at Higher Power Church was the Sunday night monthly
REHOP – Burning Spokane event. A free barbequed hot dog meal, a
clothing giveaway, and raffle to receive special gifts is provided for
homeless and poor in downtown Spokane. Along with music is an open mic
for anyone to sing or tell their story. The love of Jesus is
proclaimed as well as freely given to everyone and anyone who comes.
That is where my excessive amount of toilet paper belonged. I put all
the rolls in a plastic bag and set it near the clothing table where it
was quickly taken with people asking for more. In my comfortable
well–provided–for life, it never occurred to me to bring
T.P. to a barbeque. I’ve brought celery, carrots and grapes.
I’ve purchased hats, gloves and scarves, but I never thought
about bringing toilet paper. Come to think of it, only in the last
several months, have I thought seriously about caring for the needs of
the poor and destitute in Spokane. God is on the move in this city.
Many people believe for great things to happen here. I recently read
in the Bible: "For the Lord shall build up Zion. He shall appear
in His glory. He shall regard the prayer of the destitute."
(Psalm 102:16 NKJ) Could it be that while we are all crying out for a
mighty move of God here, He is also hearing the cry of the homeless,
addicted, and disenfranchised of our city? Could our city be built up
as we tenderly care for those the world would pass by? Got any extra
food, clothing, or... maybe toilet paper?
Confession: A Sin Problem
It is said the Heavens rejoice when each soul is saved. And in each
who is saved the Spirit of God resides helping us each to see the
world in a different light; to walk by Faith and discern the Word of
God; to hear His voice and know His touch. I have this feeling when
the Spirit moved into the temple called Tim Lamb all the heavens
whispered "Wow, talk about your fixer–upper!"
It is said in Atheism we find our moral footing in the empathy we feel
for those who suffer. I find lately, in the honest realization of
what work God has yet to do in me, that I empathize as much with the
god–less, evil, person who inflicts the suffering on others.
That is, I understand the mind of evil because I battle it every day.
It has taken me years to figure out the story of The Hunchback of
Notre Dame, as told in the Disney movie adaptation of Hugo’s
novel. It is the story of one man’s battle with depravity. The
anger toward the Gypsies that Frollo displays is really the result of
the repression of his lust and jealousy; his carnal desire for the
Gypsy Esmeralda. In his evil motivation to have Esmeralda for his
own Frollo persecutes the Gypsies incessantly. His heart is revealed
however in a scene where Frollo is alone contemplating His torment.
What surprised me is that Disney got one thing unexpectedly correct
when Frollo blames the Devil for the torment he feels but he’s
wrong when he excuses himself with this statement "It’s not
my fault if in God’s plan He made the Devil so much stronger
than a man."
I’m glad the folks at Disney recognize that God is Creator;
however, Frollo’s sin is his own fault just as our sin is our
fault. Regardless of how strong the Devil is God is stronger. God
does not call on us to be good on our own He calls us to be good with
Him, in His strength. Satan has no power to tempt us beyond our own
desires. As in the Garden of Eden, Satan can trick us and set up the
opportunity but we chose to eat the forbidden fruit.
Salvation is evident, not in that we stop sinning but in that we
despise our own sin and what tempts us. It is not for us to conquer
Satan but for us to be on God’s side in the battle. Faith is
not understanding God and the cosmic battle of good and evil. Faith
simply takes sides because God is Good and the Devil is bad and there
is no compromise and no neutral ground.
Realizing what sin is and taking responsibility for our sin is what
the giving of the law/commandments of God is about and it is an
essential, early step toward our salvation. We cannot confess or
repent of what we cannot see.
Matthew 7:22,23 "Many will say to Me on that day, ’Lord,
Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out
demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I
will declare to them, ’I never knew you; depart from Me, you who
This is perhaps one of the saddest verses in all scripture. Can you
imagine thinking your whole life you were saved because you did
God’s work and finding out as you stand before the throne that
you had practiced "lawlessness", and the Savior "never
knew you"? It is precisely those who think their works cover
their sin that don’t know Christ Jesus, and He doesn’t
know them. Sin needs to be confessed.
1 John 1:8,9 " If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving
ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is
faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from
Deceivers in this life are often God’s judgment on a wicked
people who don’t want to think about sin and never deal with it.
But others need to be told of God’s law and the need for
repentance. This is love, this is why Jesus died; Jesus
"knows" those who confess and repent. The problem with sin
is not too much Devil, it’s not enough Jesus.
Our Windows To Others
by Sharon Stuart–Reidenbach
Spring is like a bugler that announces an imminent battle. But instead
of a burgle call to charge, spring calls for mops, buckets, window
cleaner and polish: we know it as Spring Cleaning.
After the winter it’s easy to find establishments with dingy,
smudged windows: maybe even a torn awning or a broken shutter.
Unfortunately, a few of these places look uninviting all year round!
Out of curiosity, I ventured to turn a grimy doorknob and entered one
of these shops. I was blown away. Instead of the dismal surroundings I
expected, cleanliness and alluring music greeted me. It’s sad
how if one didn’t take the leap and cross the stores threshold,
no one would experience this friendly environment.
I know we aren’t to judge a book by its cover. But stop and
think about what draws us to those multi–facet department
stores, bookshops that display our favorites in their window; Or the
cathedrals with their brilliant stained glass windows. No one has to
debate whether or not he or she should take the chance to go inside.
No one has to make a judgment call. Good appearances invite us in to
And what about people? What draws us to particular individuals? Is it
how they weather the storms that bombard them? Their radiance through
life’s grip of challenges? The support they share and give with
others? Proverbs 15 and 17 speaks of a merry heart, and how it creates
a cheerful countenance, and acts like good medicine. Does this mean
they project a false front of fake happiness? On the contrary,
they’ve found what it takes to sustain that sincere, welcoming
Those with the quiet peace of assurance that God will provide have
learned to constantly make sure their store front is clean as it says
in Psalm 51:2, "Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse
me from my sin." And again in Acts 22:16 we are called to "
. . . Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the
name of the Lord."
Would anyone want to know more about our relationship with Christ
and how we handle life if we appeared dour, cranky or disagreeable?
God knew we couldn’t cleanse, brighten and change ourselves: if
we did try, our sinful attitudes and actions would mount up to make us
dirty and uninviting. That’s why 1 John 1:7 tells us to get
scrubbing with the blood of Jesus Christ [God’s Son], because
that is the only way we can be cleansed from our sins, and have that
countenance that speaks of His love.
Unlike the storefronts that use soap and water occasionally, may we
listen to that bugler call of spring to clean our spirit more than
once a year. Others will watch how we traverse those rocky bumps in
the road. And we must be ready for them to see clearly through our
window to God.
by Tris Bendickson
Revealing my snack habits a little bit here… but you know when you are
enjoying the delicious crunch of your Cheetos and before you reach in
for another handful, you look at your hands to find them covered with
evidence of your guilty pleasure? Oh, YOU know what I’m talking
about. The undeniable coating of electric orange cheese dust! You can
lick it off, but once you reach back in that bag, your fingers will be
covered again. That crazy–good snack just has a way of rubbing
off on you and leaving its mark, every time.
Forgive me for this "cheesy" analogy, but there have been
some crazy–good people in my life that have rubbed off on me
too. Much like the Cheeto cheese dust on my fingers, they have left
their mark on my heart and on my soul. Thinking about all of the
positive influences in my life during this season of spiritual growth
has caused me to ponder, who has pointed me to God? I mean, really led
me to Him in a tangible way. Did I recognize it at the time? Or did
they just leave behind a mysterious orangey hue? Looking back, there
are a few key people who have steered me down a more spiritual path.
I remember in high school the first person to ever invite me to
church. This was significant because I had never been to church in my
entire life. Not for church anyway. Weddings and funerals, yes.
Church, no. We weren’t that type of family and I never really
thought anything of it before, but the idea of going really intrigued
me. Would it be uptight and stuffy like I had always imagined?
Thankfully it wasn’t. I was curious and went with her a few
times which opened my eyes and heart to God. She rubbed off on me.
A few years passed and now out of college, another dear friend of mine
invited me to join her for church. We had both been through challenges
in our lives and it was a good opportunity for us to share some of our
pain and work on healing. I have always admired her strong faith and
fortitude. Gifts that she developed through her amazing family and
Christian upbringing. And gifts that would serve her well later in
life. Little did we know how much she would need her trust in God at
the time, but I am thankful she has that now as she is battling
cancer. She openly shares her journey with friends and family and
continues to inspire and point people to God throughout her struggles.
She rubbed off on me.
It is hard to imagine someone considerably younger impacting my quest
toward faith, but never underestimate the power of a kind gesture in a
moment of need. My oldest nephew appeared in my office one day with a
gift for me. My husband had been losing hope with his sons and with
our involvement in their lives. So much pain and so many tears had
caused me to lose faith in myself and certainly in God. At one of my
lowest times, I was given the simple but meaningful gift of a
home–recorded CD containing the hand written title of a song
that had gotten him through some challenges in his own young life.
"The Voice of Truth" by Casting Crowns. I’m not
entirely sure how he knew the volume of voices that were carrying
doubt and condemnation, but he was able to point me to a louder voice.
To this day, I consider that one of my prized possessions and among my
most life changing moments. On a regular day appeared a gesture that
brought me closer to God, and every time I hear that song, I think of
that day and I am grateful. He rubbed off on me.
Growing up together and being positively led by her in many areas of
my life, it wasn’t until we were several states and hundreds of
miles apart that I realized what a spiritual soul my sweet sister is.
As the Outreach Director of Elevation Church in Charlotte, North
Carolina, she has the privilege of sharing her faith every day with so
many people within her church, within her community, and within her
reach. We have had some stirring curiosity–based conversations
to stimulate my faith. We have also had some slightly uncomfortable
(or as she calls it "prickly") conversations that have
really challenged me to see things in a different light. It is often
the people in your life that gently push you out of your comfort zone
that rub off on you the most, and she definitely does that for me in
the very best ways. I am blessed by these God–filled moments
with her to stretch my mind, warm my heart, and feed my faith. She is
rubbing off on me more and more every day. As I have drawn closer to
God, I can see more of Him in my everyday life through the earthly
angels that continue to impact me in such loving and lasting ways. It
has not been big moments of grand significance that have steered my
heart toward Him. It has been in the small gestures. In the inclusive
invitations. In the unexpected gifts. In the thought–provoking
conversations. In the situations that could have easily been
overlooked and even more easily forgotten over the years. It has been
these moments that have paved my path toward God. Snacking
periodically on small tidbits of faith has filled me up with the
spirituality that I hunger for. And as I reach back in for another
handful, I begin to extend my own hand to you, in hopes that I can
leave just a little of that electric orange cheese dust on your hands
Mothers of Compassion
As Christians we are commanded to go into all the world and make
disciples. Ac 1:8. There are some mothers that carry that command
outside of their immediate families to touch the world with the
compassionate love of the Lord Jesus Christ. Compassion is a Jesus
character quality. In Scripture it tells us that Jesus was moved by
compassion when He healed people and ministered to them. Mt 14:14;
15:32; 18:27; Mr 1:41; 20:34; 5:19; Lu 7:13.
Compassion means "a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for
another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire
to alleviate the suffering."
"Compassion is the ultimate and most meaningful embodiment of
emotional maturity. It is through compassion that a person achieves
the highest peak and deepest reach in his or her search for
self–fulfillment." ––Arthur Jersild.
"Compassion is not sentiment but is making justice and doing
works of mercy. Compassion is not a moral commandment but a flow and
overflow of the fullest human and divine energies."
Some women never have children, but have moved outside of their own
circle of family and friends to become compassionate mothers to others
in the world. A prime example is Mother Teresa who was born on August
26, 1910. She joined the Sisters of Loreto as a missionary when she
was 18 years old.
The next year she arrived in India to begin her work of teaching in
the St. Teresa’s School. Teresa served as a teacher and
headmistress in Calcutta for almost twenty years. While in there her
eyes were opened to the poverty that surrounded her. The compassion
of Christ poured into her as she observed the poor.
His compassion poured out of her when she became Mother Teresa in
1946. After obtaining Indian citizenship she left the convent to live
among the poor. She became poor herself in order to minister to the
poor. In 1949 she started a school with a small group of young women
who came to help her. They joined Mother Teresa in creating a new
religious community to help the "poorest among the poor."
In 1950 Mother Teresa obtained Vatican permission to start the
Missionaries of Charity. She said the mission was to care for
"the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind,
the lepers, and all people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for
throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society
and are shunned by everyone."
The 13 young women that began the mission with Mother Teresa grew to
more than 4,000 sisters serving in orphanages, AIDS hospices and
charity centers. Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1979
for her humanitarian works.
During her time on earth she founded 610 foundations in 123 countries
working in seven continents. India awarded her the "Jewel of
India", the highest honor given to Indian civilians. The Soviet
Union’s gave her their Gold Medal of the Soviet Peace Committee.
Although she never saw her sister and mother again after entering the
convent as a young woman she became a mother who touched the world
with the love of Jesus Christ.
Mothers don’t have to travel the world to touch the lives of
others outside their family. I remember a special Christian neighbor
who brought our family a gift she made with her hands to bless us when
I was a young girl. That woman actually did that for many struggling
My friend Sandra King, from New Zealand, is a woman who married and
had three children. Her children grew up and she was alone. She
felt that God had something more for her to do with her life. She
felt deeply stirred to sell everything she had and move to China.
Initially she set out for Chengdu University in 1991 to study
Mandarin. She trusted the Lord to lead and guide her in the way He
wanted her to go. During the time she was studying there a university
staff member asked if she would take care of a month–old
abandoned baby that was found.
Sandra looked after little Laura while she studied and some eight
months later Laura was adopted by a family. By the time Sandra
finished her studies she knew that God brought her to China to take
care of abandoned babies.
In 1999 she moved to Guangzhou and opened her first orphanage that was
named the Home of Heavenly Healing. She was there eight years and
during that time she trained a staff of ten Chinese ladies. Together
they took care of 38 abandoned babies. One was a baby girl named
Ruth who was abandoned at 10 days old. Sandra later was able to adopt
Over the next twenty years in China Sandra cared for over 600 orphans
that were found in fields, garbage cans, by land marks and sometimes
they were left in cardboard boxes at her gate. Sandra had to trust
God to provide for the children and to bring Chinese staff to help her
care for the children.
At 67 years old you would think that Sandra’s time in China now
would have come to a close. But after a 2 year rest in New Zealand
the leading of the Lord has again opened a large door for Sandra to go
back to China and establish yet another orphanage.
God asks us to open up our hearts and to let them remain open
throughout our lives. We are given the choice, it is up to us to
always say, "Yes, Lord."
If we desire to let Jesus flow through us to help others it is
important that we let ourselves be exposed to the needy people around
us. On one trip into China God opened my eyes to the desperate need
among the China orphans as I held a dying little boy in my arms. I
made the Lord a promise to help every child He brings to me. For me
to make a difference in the life of a child is worth it all.
"And of some have compassion, making a difference." Jude
Clara Barton, born in 1821 was the founder of the American Red Cross.
She was filled with the compassion of Jesus Christ through the
experience she gained while nursing her sick brother. Because of that
experience she devoted her life to helping others with her nursing
skills. She became known as the "Angel of the Battlefield"
because of her great compassion and nursing skills. She gained her
title by helping the soldiers at the Anderson Prison camp where 13,000
Her compassion led her beyond just herself using her nursing skills.
In 1881 she united relief efforts for the Great Fire in Michigan when
5,000 people were left homeless. Again in 1889 she united relief help
for the Johnstown Flood where 2209 people died.
Clara’s last contribution as President of the American Red
Cross came in 1900 as she worked to help folks in the Galveston
hurricane. She founded an orphanage for children of the battlefield.
Even after leaving the American Red Cross position she founded the
National First Aid Society in 1904 at the age of 83 years old.
As women, we are called to open our hearts and let the Lord Jesus
Christ fill us with His compassion for the whole world. Jo 15:16.
"Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow
servant, even as I had pity on thee?" Mt 18:33. "But whoso
hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and
shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love
of God in him?" 1Jo 3:17. "Finally, be ye all of one
mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful,
be courteous." 1Pe 3:8.
If you’ve ever driven across the desert, or another desolate
area, you have no doubt seen the tumbleweeds blowing along with the
wind. I remember "discovering" them when I was a child ~ I
was so fascinated that a bush would roll like a ball across the
landscape, I watched them until they were out of sight, or we veered
around a curve. My dad loved the Sons of the Pioneers, and one of
their beautiful songs contained the words "drifting along with
the tumbling tumbleweeds." This thought brings to mind a concept
of aloofness…could be the sage–colored blowing bushes of the
desert, or a lost puppy…or a lost soul.
In Psalm 83, Asaph sings a prayer to God regarding the enemies of God.
He says, "Make them like tumbleweeds, O my God, like chaff before
the wind. As a fire consumes the forest or a flame sets the mountains
ablaze, so pursue them with Your tempest and terrify them with Your
storm." (vs 13–15). What I picture here is not one or a few
tumbleweeds blowing across the desert in a breeze, but hundreds of
them blowing and rolling with gale–force winds piloting their
path. Just as the enemies Asaph would have the Lord chase away.
And Isaiah described the desolation of Damascus (chapter 17),
recording how the people had forgotten God, their Savior, and
"although the peoples roar like the roar of surging waters, when
He rebukes them they flee far away, driven before the wind like the
chaff on the hills, like tumbleweed before a gale." (vs. 13).
Have you seen, or known people like this? People who are just
wandering, with no purpose other than to be carried along by the
winds? There may have been a time in our own lives when we had no
direction or ambition, just drifting. Some individuals will wander
across the country, doing odd jobs, making only enough change to buy
their meals, with no destination in mind…just walking without knowing,
or caring, where ~ a nomad, a vagabond, carrying all they own on their
back in a pack.
Sometimes I feel like a tumbleweed in my own home. I know there is
work to be done, but for whatever reason I don’t feel like doing
the task, or most times, there is so much I don’t know where to
start. Like right now, after the holidays, the looming chore of
packing away all the decorations stares me in the face. I’ve
done a little at a time, but often feel like a tumbleweed, going from
room to room not really wanting to commit to the job. Not wishing to
go down and climb up the stairs one more time, my arms laden with
There are people who are like tumbleweeds when it comes to their
spiritual lives. But many times, and to many people, Jesus said,
"Follow Me." Such a simple command. But we make it seem so
difficult. Jesus is our example and shows us the kind of life we
should live in order to have eternal life, in order to not wander
aimlessly through life any longer. If sheep were left to themselves
they would be lost in a matter of minutes, and in much danger, because
they really are incapable of taking care of themselves. Jesus also
said, "I am the good Shepherd; I know My sheep and My sheep know
Me." (Matthew 10:14).
Do you feel lost at times, maybe like you’re just tumbling
around in the wind? Jesus says, "Follow Me." Are you
wandering in and out of financial trouble, relationship problems, job
situations, or just plain feelings of inadequacy and not having a
purpose in life? "Follow Me." He gives us not empty
promises, but has already paid the price for everlasting and abundant
life for those of us who will choose to follow Him. He offers
compassion and healing for our souls and our bodies. And instead of
our wandering, He will carry us over the rough spots in our lives and
teach us, and make us whole. We desperately need His constant care and
supervision in our lives. If we put our hand in His great and loving
hand, we will never be lost again.
From my heart,
Jeanne Stone Helstrom
(Excerpted from "Morning Celebrations")