My friend Tim from The Well has been doing some reflecting on his experiences of recently serving the homeless down in the city. Anna from our church leads a group of people down the Love Park area each Monday night. I went down a few weeks ago and look forward to going again.
I have a bunch of things stirring in my soul from that one evening. The biggest thing that night did to me was that it made me deal with a very real problem. No longer can I ignore it. I’ve tried to push the fact that there are hundreds of homeless men, women and children 25 miles from where I sit on this nice comfortable couch from Ikea while typing on my MacBook Pro out of my head. Its just not a comforting thought. The empower has no clothes.
I’m not ready to sell all I have an give it to the poor… but damn, didn’t Jesus tell the rich young ruler to do just that?
That night that I went down there I learned something about the homeless that I had just never thought about before. Some of these things are obvious. Others were stereotypes I had that came crashing down.
These people have names. Joe. Janet. James. These people have stories. These people are kind. Many of them have jobs. Not all of them are drug users (though, some are). They love playing UNO. Not all of them dress like slobs. Some of them wear ties to work everyday. They appreciate that we chose wheat bread because its healthier. These people are not really that much different than you and me. In fact, perhaps one thing that would help is if I stopped calling them “they.” We are all humans. Loved by God. His beloved. All of us. Some of us have made poor choices. Some of us have had a string of bad luck. Some of us have been fortunate enough to have families, homes and well paying jobs and sofas from Ikea that we can use to blog on our MacBook Pro computers.
I am not here to make us all feel guilty about having sofas and computers and blogs. But, to those of us who have been given much (like you and I)… God is calling you and I to love those in need. Maybe he’s not calling you to the homeless in Center City Philadelphia. But, I am sure he’s calling you to care for those in need somewhere in your life. If you don’t know anyone who is in need? Well, then maybe you need to either just open your eyes or make a major change in your lifestyle to make it possible.
Oh, and being too busy is not an excuse. I use that one all the time. Honestly, that excuse stinks. It’s convenient. But it stinks. That excuse is a lie that our culture is telling us. If you are too “busy” to serve those less fortunate like Jesus did than you need to ask some serious questions about your current lifestyle. I know I do…
Like I said, Tim is doing some reflecting on his experiences in the city. Part I, Part II, Part III. I’ve read part III and its especially good.
Enough from me. Now I’m off to watch The Office. I know… I know…