About the Author

Jen encourages women to embrace both the beauty and bedlam of their everyday lives at BeautyandBedlam.com. A popular speaker, worship leader, and author of Just Open the Door: How One Invitation Can Change a Generation, Jen lives in North Carolina with her husband, five children, and a sofa for anyone...

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  1. Jen,
    This is so moving. I am lifting Carmen up right now along with her daughter and the twins. May God put a hedge of protection around them and comfort them in their struggles. Bless you for reminding Carmen that, she too, is a beloved daughter of the King. Like Jesus, you stopped and you reached out and touched. She saw Christ in you that day. My mission field is the homeless, orphaned, and destitute children in Pakistan. In our country we don’t know persecution as Christians like they do in the Middle East. They need the Good News of Jesus Christ and the encouragement to continue to carry His cross amid life threats. I believe that anytime we come alongside another with compassion, the Lord’s heart is deeply touched. Thank you for this beauty amid the cracks and crevices…
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Thank you for the prayers, Bev. Your ministry to those in Pakistan is a powerful thing. TO have someone intervening on their behalf is such a beautiful things. Thank you, friend. xoxox

  2. Jen,

    Thank-you so much Jen for bringing Carmen to light. My prayers are with her and her family. If everyone reached out and thought like you so many more lives could be touched.
    Like you and Carmen or Bev and her students, my nine year old son responds,” Why wouldn’t I?”

    Take care,

    Penny

    • Oh Penny, for all of us to have the heart just like your nine year old, right? SO pure, so intentional, never over analyzing or second guessing. That’s how I want to be every day. xoxoxox

  3. Jen, this was beautiful, convicting. It’s so easy to not look at the hurting people, the homeless all around us. It’s simple to have a cynical thought or two about those who hold signs asking for money to get from one place to another. Thank you for the reminder that God wants our eyes, and more importantly, our hearts, to be open to sharing a bit of hope and a lot of love with those who have nothing. Thank you also for reminding me/us that on this side of heaven we ARE all homeless.

    I’m praying for Carmen and her family today.

    • Thank you, Jeanne – writing this was such a wonderful reminder to myself as well. It’s easy to fall into a relaxed mode once and become complacent. I learned a lot about the homeless population over the last few years and many are choosing this road, but there are also those that just need someone to listen, to hear them and for me, it wasn’t just about the homeless, but learning to lean into that hurt all around me. I’m constantly having to remind myself.

    • Yes, so so sorry. I didn’t even think ahead to the fact that I should have written those words out in their entirety. Yes, Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches. We shared them on the streets.

  4. I will pray for Carmen and her family tonight as I go to sleep. It must be so confronting of an experience but also satisfying to just help people and witness God at work as he brought you together. Homeless or not people are people we are all the same and all His children and all deserve and need his love and care. I hope the Lord has blessed Carmen changing her situation and that of her daughters. I hope he continues to change their life for the better and he continues to bless you also.

  5. Jen,
    Just prayed over Carmen her daughter and the twins. May God remove the addiction! I prayed that the devil would leave the mom and children –He can’t have them anymore!! Lord we need a miracle here heal them and put a hedge of protection around them!! Help them find the assistance they need to get back to life!!
    This was moving!! Thank you for stepping out of your comfort zone and reaching out to those deserving yet overlooked people! Thank you for listening to Holy Spirit and digging deeper with Carmen! My mission field is encouragement. I try to send cards, letters, visit you, call, cook meals for you when you and your family is ill. I also donate clothes to be given away and food to food banks. I must do what I can when I can as often as I can to whomever I can! One day we will hear “Well done good and faithful servants”!
    Blessings 🙂