It took a gangster that God placed in my life today to ask myself how grateful am I?
Let me explain:
After being at the altar with the gal at church today, a gentleman introduced himself to me and said God spoke to me to come up to you and let you know that there is leadership skills in you and that God would like you to be open to look at other possible ministries.
He explained that he does ministry at the local VeteransMedicalCenter and within prisons and jails. He invited me to come with him today to the local VeteransMedicalCenter.
I met him there. He explained our job as volunteers was to go to the floors and take the men down to the chapel for church service. As we got off the elevator, God showed me a world I had only heard about and never personally seen. As we walked down the halls, he told me to be sure to look and listen. What I saw was so heart wrenching. There were men that had lost their limbs. There were men with mental disorders. There were men that had been disabled in so many ways. Yes, men that gave their lives to fight for our freedom! Just as Christ died on the cross, to set us free, there have been men that died for our freedom here on earth and here was a building full of men that God saved.
As I wheeled them down to the chapel, my heart was melting. The chaplain gave an awesome message. He let the Vets know that God loves them. We sang Jesus loves me. The older vet in his wheelchair behind me, belted that song right out. He gave them hope. He let them that know that maybe no family comes to see them, that maybe they feel alone and hopeless. The chaplain started knocking his hand on the table.. and kept knocking. As he knocked, he said you hear that, it is Jesus saying I am here let me in. His fist got louder, he kept knocking. He said Jesus is there knocking wanting to come in. When you are lonely , when you are blue, please know that Jesus wants to come in. He is here every minute with you. He also shared the message of how even though are bodies are getting older and falling apart, how God renews us.
The chaplain, the volunteers and the Vets sang Amazing grace. Yes Amazing Grace.
Tears were streaming down my face. As I escorted the one gentleman back to the lounge, I looked around the room. There were so many lonely souls in the room all in wheelchairs. I am sure some have families that come visit. I am sure there may be other ministries that come in and help. But I also know that there are men in this facility that have no family. I took the time and went around to each them and extended my hand and greeted them. This one man who could barely speak said I am a jet fighter pilot from World War 2. I responded what a blessing you are the first jet pilot fighter I have ever met!
I went back to the other lounge and the one man’s family brought pizza for lunch. They invited our ministry team from the Assembly of God church to join them for lunch.
As we were going down the elevator to get ready to leave, I started to cry. I thought about how selfish I have been in life. I thought about how many days I may get a whoa poor is me attitude about the most stupidest thing! I thought about how giving of 2 hours of my time at the facility today blessed lives. I thought about how many people are just going about their every day lives and not being grateful for what they have. More importantly, God showed me about selfishness.
I thought about how I saw these men sitting watching the local football game by themselves , as many families are gathered in their living rooms feasting on snacks and food and watching the game from the comfort of their couch.
God asked me as I walked to my car, how grateful are you Robin? How thankful are you that my son died on the cross to save you? How grateful are you for these men that fought for your freedom and all others here in Batavia and the United States? What can you do Robin to show you are grateful for Jesus and these men?
In God’s word, he gives us this commandment
Romans 13: 9-10
9The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet,"[a] and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself."[b]10Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Our neighbor is not just the person that lives next door to us, no it is all of God’s people here on earth including these wonderful veterans who fought for our freedom.
Oh yes, in the beginning I told you God used a “gangster” to show me. The gentleman that led me there today was a former gangster years ago. He had a huge gang right here in Batavia. However, the Lord found him, he is a born again Christian
and now has been in ministry in the local prisons, jails and Veterans center for the past 25 years!
I give thanks to all veterans for fighting for our freedom. I encourage you if you are looking for ways to show your appreciation contact your local Veterans Hospital and ask how you can show your support for those who give their lives for your freedom. Whether it be going and watching a sporting event with them, just stopping by and saying hi, or escorting them down and sitting with them during church service, you will not only bless them, but the experience will richly reward and bless you back!