Metro Detroit skated toward the holidays, but times were far from joyful. Paradigm shifts in manufacturing and the auto industry continued to leave people in this proud, tough city reeling. Temperatures plummeted in direct correlation to the rising number of foreclosure notices I saw tacked to the windows of empty homes that stretched through the city.
Before long, more and more homes, closer and closer to mine, went up for sheriff sale. I could hardly drive a block or two without seeing those dreaded legal notices displayed in front windows. I couldn’t turn away any longer—I convinced my family members to roll up their shirtsleeves and get to work.
We decided to volunteer at the South Oakland Shelter—SOS for short—a beacon of hope to the destitute in Southeastern Michigan. What remains with me is watching my daughter, kneeling at the feet of a homeless woman who poured out her heart, burdened by the circumstances of her life and obviously at the end of her rope. My daughter held the woman’s hand, looking up at the displaced, precious soul with what I can only describe as the eyes of Christ. I couldn’t hear the words they shared. They came in a quiet exchange meant only for the two of them. Well—the two of them, and God.
That’s the kind of giving that becomes an unstoppable tidal wave.
Soon after, my son and his wife volunteered at a charitable facility where they sorted donated clothing and worked the lines of a soup kitchen sponsored by their church. They emerged inspired and motivated. Both were busy, establishing their marriage, beginning their lives in a new state, and starting new jobs—still, they made time, building that tidal wave of love.
When an opportunity arose to join my company’s charitable board, I have to admit, my initial reaction was: ‘Do I have the time? Am I spreading myself too thin? I’m only one person, after all.’ Here’s God at work: When I started following His call, the time materialized.
Sacrificial love isn’t easy…but the rewards are astounding. To see the faces of the people you touch is such a gift. The act of giving doesn’t take much, really—just a firm step forward…into the Season of Giving.
About the Author:
Evans’s novel, Hearts Communion, earned Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year honors in the Romance category as well as best inspirational romance of 2012 by ACRA, a chapter of the Romance Writers of America. Evans has also won acclaim in such RWA contests as The Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence where she has been a finalist twice, and the Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence contest.
A lifelong resident of Michigan, Evans is active in a number of a number of Romance Writers of America chapters, most notably the Greater Detroit Chapter where she served two terms as President. She’s also active in American Christian Fiction Writers and the Michigan Literary Network.
Connect with Marianne:
Facebook Reader Page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Marianne-Evans/308711716744