Thoughts on homelessness

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Recently while in Las Vegas I had the pleasure of having breakfast with a homeless man. My heart aches when I see people who don’t have a place to go. I have been made aware that many people do not feel as I do (please don’t email me and tell me they should get a job. Heard it.)

It is  not my place to judge someone for the choices they made to be on the street, or perhaps the choices made for them. It is easy enough to do, judging. Perhaps I would not want someone peering into me deep enough to decide that the choices I have made warrant the consequences received (or spared).  Being on the streets no matter what the reason isn’t fun. I can only imagine the despair one must feel to have come so low.

It is not just the homeless of course. It makes us uncomfortable to look deeply. My place is to try to  see  people, on this particular morning I noticed people staring at Patrick with disgust. He was elderly, certainly filthy and perhaps reaping the fruit of many bad decisions.  All that made me indignant enough to share a table with him. Let them look.

I debated sharing this. It would never be my intent to sound proud for doing such a small act. It isn’t about me. I get it wrong too. However, if I want to show the love of Jesus, shouldn’t it make my heart ache for people in need?  This time was very important to me because maybe, just maybe, Patrick felt as though he was seen as a person-with thoughts, feelings and needs.

Life will go on, and Patrick and I might forget each other. But who knows? We never know what an impact one moment could make. In my life there have been moments, little thought of by the other party but life changing for me. We never know, so I will continue to try and see people. I hope it is a lesson I never forget.

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About christasterken

Committed to a life of purpose. Learning to live abundantly. Embracing creativity. Questioning. Delighting in the comforts of home and family. Determining not to settle only for how things are, but how they could be. Writing is part of who I am, so I trust In God who gave the gift to show me how I can serve Him through it. That is my life…one word at a time. Psalm 89:11a“Teach me your way , O Lord, and I will walk in your truth”

2 responses »

  1. Thanks for sharing this, Christa. Last year Jim and I spent a week in the Tenderloin district of SF ministering primarily to homeless folks. It was one of the most heartbreaking, saddest, but also most rewarding weeks of my life. I hope it has changed me forever! John 3:17 “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” I praise God that He SEES people (me!) and I pray, as you do, that He will help me SEE them too.

  2. Thanks for sharing this story. Shows your heart for God. I just finished reading Same Kind of Different as Me. It’s a true story obout homelessness in Texas. 52 weeks on the best sellers list.

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