Just returned from ringing the Salvation Army bell for an hour at the Co-op.
Finally -- I got to be the one shaking that little bell that says, "Guilty, Guilty, Guilty, Guilty, Guilty, Guilty, Guilty."
My schedule is really demanding right now, full of pastoral duties and obligations -- but it was a good exercise for me to take a little time out and be a soldier on the front lines.
After my ringing stint, I had the opportunity to help a poor fellow who had been in jail for a few weeks, due to an unpaid traffic violation. When he was released yesterday, he discovered that the people he lived with had moved away, without any forwarding address. They took all of his clothes with them!
It was 15 below zero this morning -- and the poor guy only had a t-shirt and shorts. I met him at Wal Mart, and (thanks to the kind folks who gave to our benevolence fund) helped him obtain a coat and some warm clothing.
This thought from Jesus rings a bell, "I was naked and you clothed me."