Knowing I am making a difference in the lives of a homeless family by working at KARM Stores is rewarding in itself. For those who have not encountered someone without a home, “homeless” can be a vague term. I often think of someone who is maybe in their 30s, whose life has fallen through the cracks of today’s society, and is enduring a difficult economic situation.
This past week, my mental image of those staying at Knox Area Rescue Ministries’ shelter was rocked in a dramatic way.
A young couple visited the KARM Stores located on Hall of Fame Drive pushing a baby stroller with an infant boy inside it. The couple covered every inch of the store but primarily focused on clothing, shoes, and infant clothing. The couple visited the dressing rooms multiple times in search of what might seem like the perfect purchase. The mother made several more trips to the children’s department and the shopping time became lengthy, not typical of an average customer.
I approached the couple and, after a brief conversation, I became aware the couple was staying at the family unit at KARM. The couple had become acquainted with Pastor Mychal and was helping them obtain necessities from KARM Stores. Their primary focus of shopping was for warm clothing. A baby rattle was found and this innocent child would smile when the rattle would make noise. His eyes sparkled as he played with the toy. My heart became burdened with compassion, specifically for the young baby boy.
I encouraged the father to stay close to Pastor Mychal as he would encourage the family through this critical time. It was my chance to share their need to receive Christ as a personal Savior and help this family find the best friend they will ever know.
After shopping, I watched the parents head out on foot pushing their son in his stroller and carrying their bags of clothing. As I watched, my mind was focused on their son. What kind of life will he be living? His life is starting as one of Knoxville’s homeless. Ever since, I awake wondering, where is the boy whose eyes sparkled and what will become of him?
I am grateful for the time I shared with this special family, the small role I was able to play in helping restore their lives in Jesus’ name, and the change in perspective that it gave me.
KARM Stores on Hall of Fame Drive