If you come to my house on Tuesday mornings you will find 4 ladies sitting around our kitchen table with their Bible's open, their Bible Study books open, notebooks, pens, cups of steaming hot tea and plates with cookies and fresh fruit. Every Tuesday morning 4 of us get together from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm for Bible Study. We always look forward to our time together as we don't rush. We catch up on news about our families, we spend time praying for our families and then we dig into God's word via a book called "Into The Word" by Anne Graham Lotz. Right before Thanksgiving I was reading through our Bible lesson for the week to prepare for our time together on Tuesday morning when this question in the book really caught my attention. "Are you a turkey or an eagle?" Well right away I wanted to be an eagle because they are so majestic! They soar! They are strong! And a soaring eagle is the logo for Soaring Wings Ministries. No way did I want to be a turkey! Turkeys get eaten for Thanksgiving!!!! Turkeys are slow! Turkeys don't look or act very smart!! I read further in the Bible study lesson and Anne Graham Lotz said, "I heard that a turkey and an eagle react differently to the threat of a storm. A turkey runs under the barn, hoping the storm won't come near. An eagle leaves the security of its nest, spreads is wings, and rides the air currents of the storm, knowing its wings and the air currents will carry it higher in the sky than it could soar on its own". Wow! After reading that I really did want to be an eagle, but I honestly thought to myself that in difficult situations I would probably act like a TURKEY!!! I was so disappointed in myself!!! I didn't want to be a turkey!!!!! I read further in the Bible study lesson and Anne Graham Lotz said, "It's natural for me to be a turkey in my emotions, but I have chosen to be an eagle in my spirit. And as I have spread my wings of faith to embrace the 'wind', placing my trust in Jesus and Jesus alone". THERE IT WAS!!!! There was hope for me!!! I don't have to act like a turkey!!! My natural tendency may be to act like a turkey but because I have chosen to "place my trust in Jesus and Jesus alone" then I can be an eagle!!!!! Having a personal relationship with Jesus changes everything in this life and the next!!! This is what we want to share with the young adults and families who will be living at the ranch!!!!!! We want to tell them that they have the potential to soar on wings like eagles if they place their "trust in Jesus and Jesus alone". I completely place my trust in Jesus for Soaring Wings Ministries. Developing Soaring Wings Ministries is WAY BEYOND anything that Ed and I can do on our own, but by placing our trust in Jesus and Jesus alone, Soaring Wings Ministries will become a ministry that is WAY BEYOND anything that we can imagine! So I ask you....."Are you a turkey or an eagle?" If you want to be an eagle then put your "trust in Jesus and Jesus alone".
Not too long ago I was driving through Boston on my way to South Station. I had just taken the exit off I-93 for South Station and was stopped for a traffic light. I saw a homeless young man standing on the street corner. I knew he was homeless because there was a collection of bags and a backpack sitting on the sidewalk near where he was standing. I also knew he was homeless because he looked tired and unkept and he was holding a cardboard sign asking for help. There were two other cars ahead of me waiting for the light to turn green. The homeless young man approached the first car....nothing. He then moved to approach the second car and I began to feel uncomfortable as I knew that I was next in line. He approached the second car......also nothing and just as I expected he moved to approach our car. Lots of things immediately ran through my mind....should I help this young man? What will happen if I roll down the window of my car? Why won't the light just hurry up and turn green so that I can avoid dealing with this whole uncomfortable situation? How could I help him? Then I remembered......I had packed my lunch before I left home and it was sitting in the back seat. I decided I was going to help this young man by giving him my lunch. As he approached our car I rolled down the window and looked him in the face and said "Hi". He said "Hi" back to me. I said to him "I don't have much that I can give you but would you like my lunch?" I wish all of you reading this could have seen the look on his face. It instantly went from having an expression of fear, stress and hopelessness......to joy, gratitude and peace and all because I gave him a meager lunch in a clear plastic bag. He smiled at me and said yes and thanked me for the lunch. In that instant when I handed him my lunch I no longer saw a scary homeless person. I saw the face and eyes of a grateful, joyful young man. As the young man walked away I saw that the car in front of me, who originally had turned him away, rolled down their window and handed him some change. The young man walked back to his spot on the corner and the light turned green. As we approached the corner, the young man stopped and turned around. He looked for the car ahead of me and waved a thank-you to them and then looked at me driving away and waved a thankyou to me. Several thoughts stayed with me as I continued our drive to South Station. My first thought was, it didn't really take much to brighten this young man's day as my lunch that I gave him was not very substantial. I also thought that we need to cast off our fears and proceed with courage. At first I was afraid of this homeless young man approaching my car. I am so glad that I didn't give into my fears and that I proceeded to help this young man even though it was just a very small thing. My other thought was that other people are also afraid and that helping is contagious. After I gave my lunch to this young man, the people in front of me also helped him. I was also so very touched that this young man made the effort to know how much he appreciated our help. It brought tears to my eyes when I saw him standing on the corner waving to us with gratitude as we drove away. I immediately thought of the 10 men in the Bible who Jesus healed and only one went back to thank Jesus. I was humbled by this young man's gratitude. He was grateful for so little....I was ashamed of myself for not being as grateful for what I have when I have so much more. This whole incident in Boston at the stop light just outside of South Station did not take even 3 minutes but the entire interaction between me and this homeless young man really touched me and opened my eyes and my heart. I am so glad that I listened to God's prompting to reach and help this young man. I was blessed because I did. Next time I am going to back a bigger lunch.
Anita Rennells is the author of this blog. She and her husband have moved to Colorado when Ed retired and are in the process of opening a ranch to help homeless young adults.
Soaring Wings Ministries