Redeeming Beauty

At 10:00 a.m. multiple vehicles pulled up and parked along the streets surrounding a little neighborhood park. All were packed full of food, supplies, toys, clothing, lawn chairs and coolers. Three trucks arrived with two grills, ten tables, twenty-five chairs, gallons of water, garment racks and outdoor games.  Easily twenty-five people sprang into action, helping wherever and however they could. This is what a heart for our community looks like. In another hour, another fifteen to  twenty people showed up to help in any way needed.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA



I don’t write any of this to brag about our efforts. I write this to try to shine a light on our hearts. Nobody believed this was about us. All of us were excited to pool our resources, our time and our energy to gather with a new set of neighbors.

We had clothing to give away. Most could not believe it was free.



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe had brand new flip-flops to give away, to the  delight of  so many!


The clothing story of the day, however, belonged to two young girls who had eagerly looked through the clothing themselves. They each had found a dress. They ran home to that ‘tucked away’ neighborhood and came back to the park like prom queens. They walked a little taller, held their heads a little higher and smiled with contentment. We spotted them as they headed back to the park.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI quickly wanted to find my friend, whose white dress now adorned this young girl, so she could witness the moment for herself. Our hearts were genuinely touched, but honestly, a bit convicted as well. We have so much. This dress, like so many of the clothes and shoes that we had donated had hardly been worn. They were above and beyond what we needed, or even wanted. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The redeeming beauty of this moment, and many more like it that day, is that our excess can meet someone else’s need. When that happens, in an instant, your heart and spirit are engaged and you teeter somewhere between laughter and tears.

We had excess in many areas that day, as I dare say, we do every day. Our part is to surrender what we can so that others can benefit. I am privileged to be surrounded by so many people who are willing to do just that!

Wanting to Give More With You,


About debbierivers

I love to share what I can whenever I can. My goal is to live simply and love lavishly. I enjoy inspiring others with my writing. I am married to Steve and am the mother to two beautiful daughters, Hannah and Jenna, and grandmother to Kinsley. My desire is to encourage and to bless others through my life and my words.
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6 Responses to Redeeming Beauty

  1. Sharon S says:


  2. Baerg Eileen says:

    WOW! What an awesome write up on God’s faithfulness and the generousity of all those that particapated! Thanks Deb for all your hard work in coordinating it all and making it happen! As always, you’re amazing!

    • debbierivers says:

      Thank you Eileen! I appreciate your encouragement and the gift that you gave to help make it possible! It was so incredible to see how it all works when we each do our part.

  3. Judy Schmelzle says:

    Since I live in North Salina I was wondering what neighborhood you, Debbie, were talking about. From the pictures it shows that it was Rhonda Stenner’s neighborhood. Rhonda always felt that she had a calling from the Lord to help her neighbors. I remember Rhonda telling of churches coming to that park to minister with worship songs and food to the local people. Thank you for helping to continue the work that the Lord is doing in that neighborhood. Thank you for being faithful. Thank you for not forgetting the people in North Salina.

    • debbierivers says:

      Yes, Judy, it is Rhonda’s neighborhood! In fact, when we were delivering lights we delivered to her house and Loren commented on how he missed her. God continues to give us a bigger and bigger collective “heart” for north Salina. We will do all that we can, whenever we can. My heart is that people would not feel forgotten or invisible. Thank you for reading my blog and for your encouragement!

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