Spiritual Practice


Shaun Stevenson & Levi Himes

When my youth group decided to volunteer at the local rescue mission, I was excited and terrified. When we arrived, people were already lining up with trays to receive a warm meal. My task was to put salt, pepper, ketchup, and mustard on each table. I quickly went to work.

Soon, an older woman waved at me and said, “Do you have any mayonnaise, dear?” I nodded and hurried off. I brought back the mayo and turned to leave, but then I sat down with her. She smiled and began to tell me the best spots to sleep in the neighborhood. As I listened to stories about her life, I realized that she was a human being with hurts, fears, and hopes like everyone else—like me.

“Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Galatians 5:14b (NIV)

After dinner, she put a yellowed hand on my arm. “Thank you, dear, for listening.” I couldn’t imagine a better way to have spent my time than in conversation with her.

—Shaun Stevenson


Levi Himes 22782_10203739023582259_4959660701572789059_n
Members of my school’s ministry, “Save Our Streets,” volunteer each week at the homeless shelter. We also travel to Chicago with food and supplies for people living on the streets. We talk with them, pray with them, and sometimes take someone out to eat. We hear stories of joy and struggle. I always write down names to help me remember people and pray for them. How can you reach out to the homeless?

—Levi Himes, 22


Photo of students in downtown Chicago courtesy of Levi Himes

—from devozine (January/February 2016). Copyright © 2015 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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