Are you living in comfortable surroundings, enjoying nice things, lacking none of life’s necessities? If so, walk in someone else’s shoes for a moment…
Imagine coming home to find there is no table on which to share dinner with your family, no sofa to relax on, and no bed to sleep in. Instead you eat sitting on the floor with your plate resting on a cardboard box, you relax in a plastic lawn chair trying to read in the fading light coming though a window, stalling going to bed because sleeping on the floor is so uncomfortable. Your clothes rest in a neat pile in the corner because you haven’t a dresser, and your children do their homework in their laps because there isn’t a desk in sight.
For many people not far from our own doorsteps, this scenario is a stark reality. I know, and so do others who give up a Saturday morning now and then to work as volunteers for The Movers and Shakers, a furniture ministry. We’ve seen people living in such circumstances, sometimes stopping at as many as eight households in a single day just like the one described here.
I’ll never forget the first time I volunteered to be a Mover and Shaker. Our first stop was at a small two bedroom apartment, home to a single mom and three children. They shared one queen size mattress and took turns getting to sleep alone on the tattered love seat in the living room. We had come to deliver three beds for the children. It was just a few days before Christmas.
As the team of four volunteers made our way down the hall with the beds, we couldn’t help but notice the children. They were jumping with excitement. Their eyes danced and they playfully fought over who would get which bed. The beds didn’t match but the siblings didn’t give a care. They were finally going to have a restful night of sleep, alone in their own bed.
Their mom cried as we all held hands and prayed before we volunteers left to go on to our next stop. It took all I had not to cry too, and I wasn’t the only man so moved.
After six hours of carrying furniture, the day comes to an end and the volunteers part and go their separate ways. I go home tired, once with a blister and another time, a huge bruise on my leg. But I go home happy, rewarded, and thankful for the opportunity to serve. I go home knowing that I, along with the other volunteers I worked with that day, heard and heeded God’s call to demonstrate our faith through our inspired works.