I’m writing this with tears and I had to stop in the middle of some Sunday chores to sit down and get this off of my heart ASAP!
Church … help me. I need your help desperately. I’m inviting you to help me understand something that has my heart all knotted up right now. Christians, my dear sisters and brothers in Christ, what has happened to us? Franklin, calling all Christ Followers in the Franklin community, where are you?
Let me start with this short story and then I’ll get to my question.
A few months ago my brother’s dog had a brain tumor. The tumor was extremely serious and in a desperate plea, my brother created a Go Fund Me page asking for help. In 2 months my brother has raised over $1300 and received 545 shares through social media. People were jumping at the opportunity to help him. There were donations big and small and lots of encouraging notes for my brother, his partner, and their sweet dog, Charlie.
Did you notice I said “his partner”? That’s right. My brother is gay.
Which leads me to this:
2 months ago, around the same time my brother created his Go Fund Me page, my dear friend, in a desperate plea for help, created a Go Fund Me page. My friend is a single mother of two children. Her husband decided a while back that he didn’t love her anymore and walked out on her. Do you know what that does to someone? I have personally walked the journey with her and sat numerous times with her and just cried. Your life as you know it is all of a sudden ripped out from under you. She had to move and rearrange her whole life, all while STILL being a mom and trying to keep her sanity. My friend is a believer. She attends church and has many friends. She gives back to the community and she’s always willing to lend a helping hand. 2 months ago she was struggling so bad financially that she swallowed EVERY ounce of pride that she had and publicly asked for help.
5 people responded. 5 people. $435 was raised out of 5 people. 0 shares. She’s STILL struggling.
I’m lost. I’m just completely heart broken.
Today took the cake though. I can’t even type this without crying.
Franklin Community Church in Franklin, TN is pastored by Kevin Riggs. He has a vision to launch a housing ministry called Franklin Community House. The mission and vision of Franklin Community House is to offer affordable housing, emergency housing, transitional housing, and a home for disenfranchised men. Their desire is to see lives transformed through housing, occupational training, prison release & reorientation, and education.
$225,000.00 is needed to secure this house. $24,000 has been raised. Because the money was not raised quickly enough, Community Housing Partnership resubmitted an application for a grant through THDA (Tennessee Housing Development Agency). If they do not get the grant, then the project will cease and the $24,000 will be returned to the donors. Come on, Church! Where are you? Why have you not helped with this? Where are you?!!?
David Hampton says it best in his book Our Authentic Selves: “I am all about praying for things I am not willing to personally invest in. I’m tired of hearing myself pray for God to meet the financial needs of a family when I won’t turn loose of a hundred dollars for them.
I’m irritated with myself when I ask God to heal marriages , yet I don’t want to spend an hour talking with one of the parties and sit in their pain. I have grown very impatient with myself these days when week after week I hear people in our church tell me they are alone and all I offer is to pray that they find community. What if I also invited them to dinner?
Honest prayer is willing to grow legs.
If we are not willing to tackle reconciling with others, taking a fierce personal inventory of our resentments, or addressing the things we have done to break trust, then we can’t just get into a holy huddle and expect God to happen to us.
Are we willing to get our minds out of our infirmary mentality, the place where we pray from a passive posture, and instead start participating in what God has already called us to be about?
The more we view investing ourselves as a form of prayer, the more we will see lives changed. That is renewal. It is intentional. It is already in front of us, but it doesn’t just happen to us.”
Please. Please do something. If you feel your heart stirred by this message – then I beg you to move. God moves through His people. He provides through His people. We live in one of the richest counties, with a church on EVERY corner, with professing Christians everywhere you turn and yet we can’t provide housing for those in need? We can’t help a single mom get a car and get caught up on her bills?
We can shout, and protest, and fill social media with why gay marriage is wrong and how Jesus is returning … and yet, my gay brother can raise money in a heart beat for his dog from a community of folks who don’t even believe in Jesus?!!?
When I saw my friend struggling and saw my brother receiving donations like crazy, I wept. I’m glad he raised money and I’m very happy his dog is okay but my heart is crushed by the local community who claim to know Jesus and have not helped the Franklin Community House project.
You don’t have to give a lot in order to bless those around you. You just have to give something and God will show up with the miracle. I pray that you would search your heart to give something … anything … and may God receive ALL THE GLORY for the miracle that he can bring through his people.
If you just absolutely cannot give, would you at least share? Please share this blog or the links below so that the message can get to those that can give. You would absolutely be doing your part if you share this message.
Because I know that our community is full of amazing Christ Followers, I have seen this with my own eyes, I’m going to assume that many of you just don’t know about the opportunities that I speak of, so I’m here to give you direct links:
A precious, single mama who could really use some support from her brothers and sisters in Christ. **UPDATE** Since originally posting this blog she has met her goal of $1000.00 due to a very gracious donor, PRAISE GOD!! But don’t let that stop you from pouring out more on her and her boys.
I pray that God would move mightily in the hearts of His people. We are unstoppable when we’re focused on Jesus and united together as one body.
Lastly, pray. Lift up our community in prayer but don’t forget, as David Hampton said, “honest prayer is willing to grow legs.”
God bless you all.