A New Post. Finally. | Harsh Realities

February always seems like such a hard month to blog in. Sometimes, I like to to think it’s because it’s a shorter month. But, let’s be real. February is only missing a couple of days—half a week at most.

I don’t know about you, but it also seems like someone has damped down on the traffic flow. The first two months of the year always post lower numbers for my blog compared to the rest of the year. Maybe everyone is at the gym? LOL.

As you know from my previous post, I spent a week helping operate an inclement weather shelter here in Big D. This one, like the last one over Christmas, ran nearly a week.

I’ve spent the last couple of days recovering, if that’s even a possibility. Mentally, I was exhausted. At one point, I told Terri that I was decisioned-out. By Sunday, my brain was fried.

Physically, my body remains sore. My right ankle is hurting, almost like a sprain. It stayed swollen in the days after we completed this round of inclement weather service. My left quad vacillates from burning pain to numbness. After a series of tests, we’ve discovered nothing major is wrong. My body is just keeping score after hours on my feet. Nothing an anti-inflammatory won’t resolve.

Emotionally and spiritually, I am drained even after spending a couple of days trying to process my emotions and replenish my soul.

It’s just a lot.

I’d like to tell you how people were grateful. A few of them were thankful that’d we provided them shelter out of the storm. Yet, many weren’t. Members of our team got spat on, cursed out, screamed at, and even physically attacked.

Personally, I got called a racist, a bigot, a hypocrite and all other kinds of words that I won’t mention.

While I am glad we helped and proud of the work we did, I do wonder why we did it.

And then I realize that Jesus endured far more than this from the very people He came to save.

Some of the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into their headquarters and called out the entire regiment. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him. They wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head, and they placed a reed stick in his right hand as a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mockery and taunted, “Hail! King of the Jews!” And they spit on him and grabbed the stick and struck him on the head with it. When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified.

Matthew 27:27-31 (NLT)

Now, let me be clear. I’m not saying we’re in any way, shape, or form Jesus. We’re not. But, we are His vessels called to do His work in a world that reviles Him as much today, if not more, than when they crucified Him.

My point is this: what right do I have to expect greater gratitude from others than what I show Him (Jesus) daily?

It is maddening to see someone you are trying to help by feeding them and providing them with shelter throw a plate back in your face. It is disheartening to listen to them as they curse you. It is revolting when you have to step back as they spit on you. It is even harder if you are leading a team in this endeavor and witnessing them endure this grueling and grotesque treatment, even as you personally are threatened with death each day that you serve a highly marginalized population willingly in the name of Jesus.

These are a few of the things I am left to process.

So—how was your week? I pray February has been kind to you.

How is your blogging going thus far in 2023? I pray your numbers are up and that readers are discovering your work.

Please pray for me (and Terri) as I decompress from what was a very long, difficult week.


The Devotional Guy™


The Devotional Guy™ Rainer Bantau © 2023



  1. Wow. I’m sorry. What a difficult position to be in. And yet you and your team still willingly help those people who are so disrespectful and rude. Jesus said, “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” And so you press on. I can definitely understand why you are so drained. I pray the Lord helps restore your soul. 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a time you’ve had!!

    Yes, that time to decompress is so important.

    Praying for peace and rest

    Andy B

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for reading and for your encouragement, Bridget. God is gracious and kind, rich in mercy. Blessings my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks, Andy. Yes, it’s definitely memorable. And mixed in with the challenges are some beautiful moments as well. Blessings my brother.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. When I first read this, yesterday morning, I struggled about how to respond. As a fellow helper type, it’s hard to fathom trying to assist people who mistreat you in return.

    Rainer, I also join the others in praying for your physical, emotional, and spiritual recovery.

    The following scripture was in my Bible reading this morning, and I thought of you.

    “But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand.” Psalm 10:14 (NIV)

    God Bless you, my brother. Hang in there!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thank you, David. I struggled to write it, so I get the challenge responding to this post presents. I love the verse you shared in your comment. Thank you. It’s certainly an interesting dichotomy and even a dilemma of sorts. I know what we are doing is the right thing to do, so we do it. But, it’s by far one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done let alone led a team of people to do alongside one another. When I think of all the ways God has prepared me to serve and lead in this moment, my mind can’t really fully comprehend it. It’s some kinda something. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

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