As I approach the one-month mark from my book’s release on August 5 I’ll confess I’m a wee bit obsessed with things like sales rank, reviews, and Facebook engagement. And while many of those numbers are squishy, there’s just enough information out there to, well, make me crazy.
Which is why I’m really glad this is the week for Room in the Inn at church. Once or twice a year our church hosts up to 12 homeless ladies who live in our fellowship hall for a week. Sponsored by a ministry called Homeward Bound, the goal of Room in the Inn is to meet the immediate needs of homeless women while they work toward a permanent home of their own.
On Sunday we set up the fellowship hall, putting out 12 mattresses owned by Homeward Bound and making them up with linens from a local hospital (we own the pillows and blankets we use). We also stuffed insulated lunch bags with toiletries and comfort items for each lady.
Sunday evening, we got to meet our guests. Trust me, spending time with these ladies will get your head out of your own mess and right now. The thing is, they aren’t all that different from me. Only maybe they didn’t have great parents. Maybe they married men who abused them. Maybe they lost their jobs and didn’t have anyone to help. Maybe they got sick and didn’t have insurance.
Maybe I could be homeless, too, given just the wrong circumstances. Suddenly, sales rank doesn’t seem like such a big deal.
I’m making dinner for them this evening. Fried chicken, potato salad, baked beans, and cole slaw. And for dessert? Each lady is getting a mini birthday cake. With a candle. Because I suspect it’s been a while since most of these women have had cause to celebrate much. I, on the other hand, have something to celebrate every day.
And so we’ll have cake and maybe even sing “Happy Birthday” and hopefully they’ll know they’re loved. Not because they have jobs or houses or money or lots of good novel reviews, but just because they were born.
Psalm 139:13-14 – “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”