coldWas it cold this morning when you woke up? It was 26 degrees outside when I woke up this morning.  Brrr! As I crawled out from under the toasty warm covers, two thoughts came to mind. First, I’m thankful we replaced our inoperable furnaces two weeks ago when it was sunny and in the seventies. Second, Lord, please be with the homeless and provide a warm place for them on days like this one.

Do you see homeless people throughout your day? It seems like when the weather turns colder or the holidays draw near, you see more homeless people on street corners at major intersections. Desperate times call for desperate measures. If you’re cold or hungry enough, you’ll swallow your pride and do just about anything.

Scrolling through my Facebook news feed one day I saw a fabulous idea for those times when you encounter someone homeless and are reluctant to give them cash. They were called blessing bags and they’re something anyone could put together and have on hand in their car.

A blessing bag is a large Ziploc bag filled with items someone could benefit from on the street.  Some suggestions are:

  • glovesziploc
  • socks
  • a scarf
  • a subway card
  • a phone card
  • fast food gift cards
  • protein bars
  • travel size toiletries
  • deodorant
  • a blanket
  • cookies
  • a candy bar
  • band-aids
  • Chapstick
  • vitamins
  • a devotional or Bible
  • plastic poncho
  • a note of encouragement

Ziploc now has bags that are larger than the gallon size that would be perfect for this. You can put two or three of these together and keep one inside your car and some spare ones in your trunk.

Matthew 25:31-46 speaks about reaching out and loving the least of these and how doing so is not just ministering to them but also to the Lord. And as they say on television infomercials, BUT WAIT.… you also have the opportunity to minister to anyone who happens to be in the car with you when you give one out.

You suddenly go from just riding down the road to holding church in your car as you explain what you did and why you did it.

As you pop into Walmart or Target this week, or even the grocery store, why not pick up a few extra items to create blessing bags. If your budget is tight, you aren’t disqualified.  You can shop through your own closet and pantry and pull some things together. There’s no way to create a blessing bag, so go for it. God blesses us to be a blessing to others.

Freely you have received, freely give.” [Matthew 10:8b]

Take a moment and post an idea or two of things you could include in a blessing bag that aren’t listed above.  We can get creative and bless people along the way.