We have eyes to see and hearts to serve, yet somehow don’t recognize the importance of both purpose and passion until we see needs up close at life’s intersections.
Thankfully, such consciousness–the kind leaving lumps in our throats and guilt in our minds–results when we hear accounts from folks whose lives have changed direction through the pursuit of serving others.
In this season of commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, in a straw-strewn stable with no crib for his head, we are jolted by a jarring fact. In the here and now, some three percent of American children sleep nightly on the floor, on worn out sofas and even on piles of clothing worn during the day.
Luke Mickelson, living the good life with his family in Twin Falls, ID, built a bed for a girl named Hailey, a bedless six-year-old in his town. Seeing her plight, sharing her tears and determined to do more, he began his fulltime philanthropic pilgrimage almost five years ago. Sole purpose of his non-profit organization, “Sleep in Heavenly Peace,” is to work toward reducing–perhaps even eliminating–what he calls “bedlessness.”….
Luke’s calling has helped him sleep better, too, because he has ignited both passion and purpose in the hearts of thousands of others. There’s been a national chorus of “What can we do to help?” Bed-building across the land by volunteers in some 300 chapters abounds. There’s no end in sight.
“No kid sleeps on the floor in our town” is a slogan not only fostered, but deeply heartfelt.
Representatives of “Sleep in Heavenly Peace” tell their stories wherever possible, one of their main targets being civic clubs. Thankfully, SHP representative Bruce Crenshaw visited my Burleson, Texas, Lions Club a few months ago, and the results have been electrifying….
He shared his sense of “passion and purpose” magnificently, and since his visit, 10-12 of our members have built 180 beds for Texas Lions Camp. They’ve also delivered and set up beds in dozens of area homes and apartments, their joy matching the delight evident in the eyes of children opening gifts on Christmas morning. One much-talked about recipient kissed her bed.
The impact of SHP is staggering. Magnitude of SHP continues to grow in both the USA and Canada. Want a statistic? Some 57,000 beds have been built and delivered in 2023 ALONE! Volunteers have built, delivered and set up all of the beds. Mickelson walked away from a well-paying job in favor of giving all his energies to the tax-exempt organization–one which has highest standards in the world of non-profits. It passes the test of truth and integrity long admired and envied by the Dr. Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
Mickelson and his followers are sharing with thousands of others the joy of “giving back,” kindling the fires of passion and purpose that may have slowly been reduced to smoldering, now aflame with energy, support, and enthusiasm….
Stories about SHP abound on the Internet, including its website, shpbeds.org. There’s also information on how others can get involved by providing time, energy and support, perhaps all three.
It is noted that the organization has some national sponsors, the kind who contribute at least $50,000 annually.
One such sponsor is Lowe’s. Here’s a grand example of how Lowe’s and SHP faithful can “build something together.”…
On the SHP website, one may identify children who need beds. There will be a positive response, even if it takes a while.
There are many reasons, of course, why this charity has found its place quickly. Though Jesus never had an earthly place to lay His head, he was able to change the world as he traveled the then-known world on foot.
Crude as the manger was, surely it was immersed in love. He bade little children to come unto Him, and, for all of us, he promised assurance of rest. Most of us have more than we need and recognize the importance of a good night’s sleep. May God bless you, Luke Mickelson, and all the folks he’s inspired….
Dr. Newbury, longtime university president, writes weekly and speaks regularly throughout Texas. Contact: 817-447-3872. Email: [email protected].