“As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind beggar was sitting beside the road. When he heard the noise of a crowd going past, he asked what was happening. They told him that Jesus…was going by. So he began shouting, ‘Jesus…have mercy on me!’ ‘Be quiet!’ the people…yelled at him. But he only shouted louder ‘…have mercy on me!’ When Jesus heard him, he stopped…’What do you want me to do for you?’ ‘Lord…I want to see!’” (Luke 18:35-41 NLT)
Imagine that you were there when this scene unfolded. You are in the crowd following Jesus, and you hear a man shouting in desperation for His attention. How would you respond?
In spring of 2022, our Love Lubbock leadership team read a book that brought changes to how we approach caring for the hurting in our city. It confronted preconceptions of what outreach ministry often looks like, and challenged readers to “get messy” in how they serve others.
Can you imagine how the blind beggar felt shouting for Jesus’ help? A recent report conducted by our local United Way stated, “There’s a stigma in asking for help.” The book we read, “When Helping Hurts,” states “Poor people typically talk in terms of shame, inferiority, powerlessness, humiliation, fear, hopelessness, depression, social isolation, and voicelessness. North American audiences tend to emphasize a lack of material things such as food, money, clean water, medicine, housing, etc.” (Corbett & Fikkert)
Whoa! For the past several years, Love Lubbock has been serving those in financial need, but were we helping, or were we hurting? Moreover, were we getting to the root problem for the individuals we served? Were we helping clients gain hope for future possibilities? Were we adding to the shame, or did we really SEE those we were serving? Were we pointing them to the feet of Jesus?
These are the questions the Love Lubbock team wrestled with for over a year. Were we going to be the people who quieted the man in need, or were we going to change? In January 2024, in response to what we were learning, Client Advocacy was born. A place where those in need can find resourcing, clients are welcomed into a deeper conversation that takes in the WHOLE person, identifies multi-faceted needs, and invites the client into next steps that may include prayer, coaching, discipleship classes and more. Our goal: That our clients feel SEEN, HONORED, and discover the HOPE that is possible for their future through Jesus as they continue to receive resources to meet their practical, emotional & spiritual needs. Meeting Saturdays from 3:00-5:00, we are thankful for our advocates who SEE beyond the physical needs of our client and invite our clients into more. We’re thankful for advocates who invite those they come into contact with to the feet of Jesus. In a world that’s full of hurting people with deep, often unseen needs, will you be the one who sees? Will you be the one who shows them Jesus?