A young lady once said, “I want to do something to help the poor, the hungry, the homeless, but I don’t know where to start.” A friend with Sean’s Outpost Homeless Outreach replied, “Start small. Go home, make a sandwich, and give it to someone.” That statement reminds me of a few quotes I’ve heard over the years. Mother Theresa has said, “it’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving” and “we cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” A Baptist pastor, Malcolm Bane, once said “If you wait until you can do everything for everybody, instead of something for somebody, you’ll end up doing nothing for nobody.”
The patron saint of the Little Flower Citywide Pro-Life Committee is Saint Therese of Lisieux, known as “the Little Flower of Jesus.” She viewed herself as a simple wild flower, not with the beauty and grandeur of a rose or lily – simple and perhaps unnoticed by the greater population, yet growing and giving glory to God where God had planted her. She kept her spiritual walk simple and focused as a child does, and called it her “little way,” which means to do the ordinary things of life with extraordinary love.
During the massive flooding in April 2014 in Pensacola, several homeless shelters and food pantries were flooded. On behalf of the Little Flower Citywide Pro-Life Committee, my family and I made a couple pots of stir fry for Sean’s Outpost, which had set up a temporary emergency homeless shelter. It was a simple gesture: rice, vegetables, and eggs from our backyard chickens-a hot, simple and nutritious meal. Another time we purchased almost 100 bananas, which cost less than $50 (about all the cash I had). While bananas aren’t exactly a buffet, they were a welcome snack to many homeless people at a food-sharing event hosted by a group called “Food Not Bombs.” Another day, just before a major freeze, we tried to gather as many blankets as we could afford (which wasn’t very much), but others joined us and gladly donated what they had to offer.
Each time, we knew we weren’t going to solve all the world’s problems, and that the people would be hungry shortly after – and still homeless. The point is to not let the daunting situation discourage you from doing what you can, when you can, with what you have. Don’t say that the problem is “too big” and you don’t have “enough” to give and “so why bother?” Even small or simple acts of kindness can mean the world to someone in need. Sometimes a simple gesture may encourage others to do similar deeds and your simple act will be amplified. Sometimes just acknowledging a person as a person can mean more to that person than you can imagine. My father once asked me, “do you think one person can make a difference?” I said, “well, it made a difference to that person.”
May God bless you on your “little way.”
Sincerely, Jeremy Bosso Chair, Little Flower Citywide Pro-Life Committee
- Matthew 25: 34-40: “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’”
- Matthew 18: 2-4: “And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, ‘Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven…’”
- Luke 18:17: “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”
- Video: ABC News: Pensacola Flooding – Homes, Lives, Cares Wiped Out
- Video: Drone Footage of Flood Waters in Pensacola
- Video: Pensacola Florida Flooding on April 29 2014