Monday, 13 April 2015

The Lessons I Learned From 2 Homeless Men

They came knocking at the door, these 2 men literally with their hat in their hands. It took them a couple of minutes to even get the words out, and when I heard what they were asking for, I understood why. These men were dirty, and very visibly hungry. They had come because they had heard that there may be a chance of getting food here. And in that moment, my heart broke for them.

I can’t even imagine how humiliating it is to come asking a stranger for food, admitting that you have nothing, and won’t survive much longer. I can’t imagine how broken and desperate you need to be in order to humble yourselves like that, and just ask.

And yet, they did. They knew they had nowhere else to go, no one else to turn to and so they came. And I’m so grateful they did, because as hard as that kind of wakeup call is, we all need it. We all need that reminder that even on our worst days; we’re blessed simply because we have a bed to sleep in and food for every meal. We all need that reminder that we’re called to love the least of these and care for the down and outers.

It’s not comfortable. Today reminded me of that. I’ve spent a lot of time with homeless people, but I never get used to it. It’s not easy to be around people who are unpolished, who are dirty, who have nothing to lose and are therefore willing to do whatever it takes to survive. And yet, that’s what we’re called to do. We weren’t made to live in our safe, comfortable little bubble, taking care of only those who take care of us, giving only to those who can give back in return to us. We weren’t made to be these self-centred little creatures that think only of themselves and never think of others. We were made to love.

I guess that’s how I picture being the hands and feet of Jesus. It’s not just about telling people about Him, or sharing the gospel, but it’s about living it. In this case, it was about finding these men some food, and figuring out if there was a place they could go more regularly to eat. Being the hands and feet of Jesus means walking amongst the broken and the hurting, meeting whatever needs you can, and praying along the way. We see it all through the Gospels – very rarely did Jesus sit with someone in need and just tell them about God. Instead, He reached out His hand and touched them. He healed them, He fed them, and He invited them in.

Lord, may I always be that kind of person, that kind of Christian. Not throwing a bible in someone’s face, or getting too caught up in my ‘ministry’ that I forget to just be there, bringing what I have, and helping how I can. Amen.

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