Happy Solstice to you! To celebrate all the Winter Holidays, I’m doing something extraordinary and I’d like to extend the invitation to you to join me. These are a portion of the twenty Starbucks gift cards loaded with $20 apiece I just bought for some very special Christmas/ Yule / Solstice stockings I’m making. I hope to radicalize you as a Santa’s Helper too! If it calls to your heart, join me in this ad hoc, grassroots effort and share the idea widely.
Here’s Why: I’ve always helped organizations that tend to the needy at the holidays but they only serve a fraction of the population. It’s also throwing money, rather than my Love & Presence, at a problem. The most desperately needy often can’t get to the service centers, nor meet requirements for entry.
Legions of homeless on the streets never get aid and are literally starving and friendless in the freezing cold at the holidays.
Will you join me in a simple little initiative to help them this Holiday Season? No money – just your love and presence is required.
They were fundamentally sweet, decent men in trying times who were doing their best. They were not scary, they were scared…and hopeful. And appreciated me listening without preaching. One said the best gift was simple human dignity, the generosity of my time & a cheerful smile they never got.
It broke my heart and steeled my resolve to do more.
These people are not trash, they’re human beings who deserve love & dignity. They may not be clean, they probably aren’t sober, but I’m not going to judge someone down on their luck for comforting themself the only way they know how. I won’t discriminate against them for their circumstances, and I won’t withhold a blanket or warm meal like many of the homeless aid organizations either.
It’s Christmas, so ask yourself – #WWJD?
He’d be out there serving hot coffee and dinner on the street with a jolly ho-ho-ho. He’d make room in his manger for Michael, shivering with cold and cancer, sleeping on concrete, and share his blanket. His mother, Mary, would tuck Michael tenderly in beside her Son and murmur endearments only a mother could.
Jesus wouldn’t look away. Neither would Mary.
And in the last year something has woken in me – in many of us I think – that has made it so I can never look away again.
Maybe you too.
Hopefully you’ll accept a bit of Holiday radicalizing and with so many projects worldwide to endow, consider spreading a little grassroots joy where you are.
We are all Jesus and Mary both, in this scenario. And every bright shining spirit on the street, be they ever so clothed in filth and attitude, is our most precious brother or sister.
Our challenge, yours and mine, is to look beyond the filth, the smells and attitude and both see and speak only to the Bright, Shining Spirit within. Hard work in our looks-obsessed culture, but I have faith we can do it.
They need this. *We* need this.
I have no family living now, so while I have parties with friends to attend, I have the blessing of being freer at the holidays than most. So, I am turning the Blessing Bags I share with homeless folks into super packed Chistmas Stockings & delivering them on Christmas eve and day. It won’t cure homelessness, but it will give people who have nothing a present – a real present and the sense of being cared for – which most won’t have had in years. Plus, the genuine human Presence of a non-judgmental ear & heart.
I may only make it around to the twenty I’m planning for, but that’s hopefully twenty hearts lifted, twenty souls Seen, a little warmer, brighter and happier. Twenty human beings I can personally help.
It doesn’t solve the problem of homelessness, no. But it helps those twenty I’m able to reach in ways I will not be able to fathom that will hopefully cause ripples of good in those people’s lives that will go forward for a long time to come.
In this I am taking a leaf from the book of Amma, the “hugging saint” whose hugs are said to cause profound change in just a few seconds contact. I am not Amma, but will be reaching out to and doing my best to channel Divine energy in the same way to these forgotten folks who are still and always God’s Children – whatever you conceive of God to be. I will be channelling Mary, whose bottomless Mother’s love is available to all, and came through me spontaneously the other night as I spoke with and sang to Michael – who is a real homeless person with cancer, sleeping rough on the dangerously frigid streets of San Francisco.
This is work open to all of us.
If you do it, fill those stockings or bags with useful stuff: socks, gloves, warm scarves. Thermal underwear. Starbucks cards get them a hot drink inside, out of the cold. Beef sticks, jerkies, nuts, dried fruit, protein bars & electrolyte drink packets, travel size soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, chapstick, bandaids, firstaid cream. Silver plastic emergency blankets are particularly needed.
Sisters, brothers – this is so possible. You have the ability to Be amazing and far-reaching Change this holiday season.
My dear friends and caring hearts: let’s DO this! ❤️