In my newest romantic suspense, What Happened on Beale Street, a young Blues musician was dedicated to helping former addicts in inner city Memphis. My saxophone player, a devout Christian, kept late night hours in places seldom frequented by former choir boys. When Danny Andre is murdered, his friends endeavor to bring the killer to justice. There are many suspects to pick from, including Danny’s indigent neighbors, his fellow musicians at seedy bars, and the former addicts and ex-inmates at the outreach center. My private investigators soon discover appearances can be deceiving and evil can take many disguises.
In every city, small town, and rural countryside, there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer. But it’s so easy to get caught up with our jobs, our families, with ourselves and neglect those who need our help. We often look fearfully at those living on the fringe of society, whose bad choices have caused a downward spiral. A couple years ago our church banded together with seven other congregations in a program called Operation Homes. We were assigned one week out of every eight to provide a place to stay and hot meals for the homeless of our county. In the Bible we’re asked us to go forth and serve one another. Good works won’t pave our way into heaven, but God wants us to leave the safe and predictable to reach those in need.
For people to be open to the Word of the Lord, we must first feed them and provide a safe place to sleep. Once our guests felt safe, they were willing to open their hearts to God. In return my life was enriched by each person I served during our congregation’s participation in homeless outreach. Since the Operation Homes program is no longer active in my community, I’m challenged to do more than just write once-a-year checks to worthy causes. As Christians we must serve the less fortunate with our time, our talents, and our resources.
Murder, mystery and mayhem in the land of the delta blues…sometimes your faith and your friends are all you have left. What Happened on Beale Street is available wherever fine books are sold, in print or electronic format.
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