Friday, September 24, 2010

If you can just think about this:

You are homeless
You have no where to go and no one to see
All you have is what you are wearing
Your clothes are dirty
A shirt with holes
Pants that don’t fit
Shoes that are too small
Socks that are worn
You walk the streets the whole day
You have no form of ID
You can’t get a job to get back on your own without an ID
To America, there is no proof of your existence
As you walk the streets your feet blister
That’s what happens when your shoes don’t fit
Your toes are in so much pain you can barely take a step by the end of the day
It slowly begins to rain, then pour, as it does in New Orleans
You get out of the rain only after your clothes are soaked
Your shoes are filled with water due to the puddles
Your socks are drenched
You must keep walking because you are not allowed to sit anywhere
Constantly you are run off from places when you just stop for a rest
Now you walk the streets with wet clothes and shoes
The blisters become worse and you get more of them
Most of them are infected
You hurt
Not only physically
People constantly look down on you because you don’t have a home
They don’t even give you a chance
You didn’t have control over the situation that made you homeless
You are trying to get your life back together but no one wants to help
You have no where to go and no one to see
You are constantly walking the streets
Looking for help everywhere
You find a place that helps the homeless
You take a chance, so many times you are turned away
You ring the bell
You are greeted with a smile
The first time someone has smiled at you all week
You see a light in their eyes
You know they care
They feed you, clothe you, and give you hygiene items
They help you clean up your wounds
They look past that you are homeless and see you for you
You are helped
You now have hope and you now have strength
When you walk back down the street
Your chin will be lifted
There will be a light in your eyes
Because they were Jesus to you
It’s simple… Be Jesus to people.

Which way do you look when you see someone who doesn’t have a home? Do you smile at them or frown? Have you ever given a homeless person a chance? A homeless person is just like me and you except for the fact that they don’t have a home. They don’t have shoes that fit their feet or clothes that fit their body. They don’t have a closet to put them in either. They have a heart that does the same function as ours. They hurt just like we do; the only difference is we have a house to hide in.

There are so many stereotypes about homeless people that are untrue. The National Coalition for the Homeless talks about the reasons that people have become homeless over the past few decades. As most people assume, they are all strung out on drugs, unwilling to work, and trying to take advantage of the system. These assumptions are false. Foreclosures, poverty, eroding work opportunities, decline in public assistance, and lack of affordable housing are a few of the main reasons for homelessness in society today. Much of which, cannot be controlled by people.

Other key factors in homelessness include: lack of affordable healthcare, domestic violence, and mental illness. Statistics show that 1 in 3 Americans are uninsured. A single illness can put a person in poverty on the streets. Battered women who live in poverty are often forced to choose between the abusive relationship and becoming homeless. 16% of the single adult homeless population suffers from severe mental illness, of which they have no control. Addiction is rarely a cause of a person becoming homeless; however, once on the street there is an increased risk of turning to drugs.

Homelessness results from a complex set of circumstances and cannot be identified as a result of a single cause.

So, will you choose to be Jesus to the next homeless person you see?

35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Matthew 25:35-40

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