BY: KYLE R. BEMIS
E-MAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
BIBLE TEXT: Matthew 25:41-46 (NIV):
Then he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.” They also will answer, Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?” He will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.
My family hasn’t always been well off and we haven’t always been in the faith. When I was growing up in California, we moved around a lot. I was too young to realize my family’s financial troubles (a lot of them at that) but Mom always kept us fed, and while we may have moved a lot we always had a roof over our heads. As I grew and talked to Mom I learned how close we came to not having those things, and I became aware of the struggle she went through to hide that from us. With that being said, we obviously were a special case (was what I thought) and we kept our guard up at all times against those who would take what we had.
When I moved to Nashville, I had no family here and no friends. The only person I “knew” was a friend of a friend who I happened to meet before I moved out to Tennessee. Essentially, I was on my own and that was a very scary thing. I walked the street of Broadway too young to get in to the “music establishments” but old enough to stand outside and listen to the music and hear the people on the street corner play. I couldn’t tell you how many homeless people I ran into that stopped me and asked for change. At that point I had only been in the faith for a little while, and I was not very well versed in the Bible yet. I was still of my California mentality. I kept to myself, and if you stopped me for something you clearly wanted to take advantage of me… so I walked on. If Mom could make it, so could they, right? Clearly, they had to be scamming people… I was very guarded and naive.
As time went by, I realized that many of the homeless weren’t trying to scam anybody. They were people who tried for a dream and just fell on hard times, someone with a disability, or simply people who just needed a hand. Everything changed once I figured that out. I was ashamed. I am thankful for the life I have. I am thankful for the life my mother worked so hard to give us. And most of all, I am thankful for luck and help we received along the way. Then, I happened upon the Matthew verse listed above. It rocked my world. It was right there the whole time. I am supposed to help those who need it. God gave me the life experience of living with next to nothing by American standards, and now, He has given me this deep-rooted passion for helping anybody I can. Anyone who knows me knows that I am complete survival nerd! What that means is I watch the shows, I read the books, and I love anything that has to do with the outdoors. Lately I have been putting some of that knowledge to use. I have been creating and giving out “hope packs.” I give them out to any homeless person I see–assuming they want it, of course. It’s just some stuff to hopefully bring a little hope back into their lives and make them feel like people.
I believe and know it to be true: we have to live to give in any way we can and in any way God speaks to us. God wrote these life experiences into my life just like He did the words throughout the Bible. God never does anything without a purpose. I encourage you to look at what He’s written into your life and I challenge you to act upon it.
PRAYER: Lord, I thank you for the blessings you have given in my life. I thank you for the life I have lived and the life still ahead of me. I pray that you grant me strength to always do the right thing no matter the situation. I pray that you will continue to give me the ability to recognize and learn from my mistakes, so that I may bring glory to your name and continued meaning to my life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kyle is married to the beautiful Ashton Bemis as of September 22, 2012. He arrived in Nashville on June 2, 2004 at 9:30 p.m., after selling everything he had down to two suitcases to pursue a music career. While he still has a love and passion for music (and it is the end goal), he is currently a regional trainer for a payroll company. He travels a lot and it’s been an adjustment. He loves anything to do with his wife, his dogs, music, survival facts/shows, outdoors, and hiking.