Brrr! It's COOOOOOOLD outside here in the Midwest! I mean, it was NEGATIVE SIX when I woke up this morning! Frost is forming on the INSIDE of my front door! (See evidence in photo above). When I took the dog out this morning, snot froze my nose hair stiff inside my nose and I swear the dog's pee was freezing before it hit the ground!
Oh, you know this already? You have heard the midwest whining about it nonstop for the last three days? You are already sick of all the square, heavily filtered photos of frost overtaking your Instagram feed?
Alright then, I will stop talking about how cold it is. (But seriously, guys. It's cold. COLD, I tell you! COOOOOLD!)
Instead, I'll just take this moment to remind my fellow Midwesterners that however inconvenient and uncomfortable this cold is to you guys, if you are currently reading this via a wireless or cell connection on your phone or laptop, chances are you have some place warm and cozy to sleep tonight. Some people aren't so lucky. With shelters overrun, hundreds of people without homes stand a good chance of dying out there in the cold tonight. About 700 homeless people die of weather exposure in the U.S. every year.
While walking on the earth, Jesus was pretty infamous for reaching out to the poor and the oppressed. He regularly hung out with the homeless, even the diseased homeless! Contagious lepers aren't really the first people most of us seek to hang out with on a regular basis.
If you, like me, find yourself marveling over just how COOOOOLD it is outside and thanking God you are blessed with a warm place to sleep, consider doing what Jesus would do on a day like today. Get out there and serve those who need it. Even if you have no time or it would be too difficult to drag your fourteen children with you to a homeless shelter, or another
excuse reason you cannot help someone in need today, you probably have extra hats, scarves, gloves, or coats lying around. You probably have some type of bag you could use to collect these items together. And you probably have a shelter nearby full of people very in need of these items. Use google to find the closest shelter to you. Many of them are currently posting "urgent need" lists for winter items. If you physically cannot get outside today, consider donating a bit of money online to a shelter local to you. Even $5 can go a long way toward feeding the hungry and clothing the exposed.
It's very easy for us to overlook the marginalized people of our society, but Jesus never turned a cold (literally!) shoulder to those needing help. Channel some of his love and concern for the poor today and get out there and do whatever you can to help.
Your fingers may freeze, but your heart will stay warm.