What Should You Worry About Tomorrow?
It was a cold night in Nashville during the winter of 1986. Earlier that day, Charles had given one of them a peanut butter and jelly sandwich after they knocked on the church door.
Looking out the window into the parking lot, he could see them huddling under the window. Charles knew the temperatures would drop below freezing that night as he looked out over the small group of men.
The questions raced through his mind.
Should he offer them lodging for the night? What would he do when they returned tomorrow night? And the next?
He knew the consequences were far greater than giving a dozen men lodging for the night.
What would the congregation say? Or the neighbors? And the Bishop?
Charles did not think too long because he knew that he would talk himself out of it. He found himself thinking, “I’ll worry about that tomorrow.”
So Charles invited the men to spend the night in his church and they have been with him ever since.
If this story sounds familiar to you, it is the story of Charles Strobel and The Room in the Inn.
Little did he know that offer of love long ago would turn into nearly 200 churches in Middle Tennessee and over 6,500 volunteers offering shelter, emergency services, transitional programs and long term solutions to help men and women rebuild their lives.
Every Saturday Night, from November – March, my church partners with the Room in the Inn to provide meals, a warm bed, clothes, laundry facilities and hot showers for those who would otherwise be sleeping out in the cold.
In addition to staying a few nights each year, I try to gather clothes to keep them warm throughout the day. Like you, I clean out my closets and dressers this year of things that I haven’t worn in some time. Although, the might not mean much to us, these clothes mean so much to the working poor we serve from The Room in the Inn.
These clothes mean they get to stay warm during the day. Clean clothes mean they are not automatically marginalized when they meet others. Clothes mean that they look appropriate for the interview they have scheduled next week.
Over the next few weeks if you have any clothes (especially Men’s clothes) that you will not wear this year, hit reply and let me know.
I will be glad to drop by and pick them up for the men who stay with us for Room in the Inn.
Happy New Year!!
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