Monday, March 10, 2014

The Story Behind "The Streets of Our City" March 2014 Mission Outlook

Nearly a year ago, we sorted through the incoming mail to find a precious letter from a girl named Jasmine. Jasmine had seen a man in need, who was walking the streets in tattered clothes. Her heart broke for this man and others she saw in need, and she asked us to please help him. What Jasmine didn't know is that the man about whom she wrote suffered from a mental illness. We had tried to help him, but until he was willing to receive that help, his condition would remain the same.
There was little debate about what to do. Jasmine needed to know that people did care. That we at the Mission cared for those in need. However, the issues of homelessness are varied and complex, and trying to condense those issues into a carefully worded letter was indeed a challenge.
Finally, the letter was sent, along with much prayer, because our hope was that, while Jasmine would understand the issue a little better, she would also realize that her concern was a beautiful and wonderful thing. We do not underestimate the power of compassion, nor would we minimize the strength of a tender heart. Jasmine's heart hurt for those in need, but that pain is, oddly enough, a gift.
That pain is what Paul might describe as love. In 1 Corinthians 13, he wrote, "And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing."
Often, after sending that letter, I would think of Jasmine, the little girl with the big heart. I would pray for her and wonder if we would ever find out if the letter helped. Then, during our recent "Share Night" at Culver's, Mark Criss, our executive director, was approached by a woman, Jasmine's mother. What a blessing, to meet Jasmine in person and to be able to hear, firsthand, about how the letter was received.
We always enjoy meeting our "fellow rescuers" at events like the "Share Night." It is such a joy to hear from you and to be able to say "thank you" in person for all you do to help us help others. Thank you for your tender heart and the compassion that enables us to provide food, shelter, and hope to hundreds of women, children, and men in need!
Jasmine stands with Laura Grimwood, City Rescue Mission Communications Manager