Friday, January 27, 2012

God Forbid

*Samuel is a homeless man. He sleeps on a park bench in Saint Augustine, Florida (home of the first permanent +Christian settlement). He told me last winter--he made a joke of it in fact--that at 39 degrees you say “brrrr” but at 29 degrees you say “br.” Imagine the guy can still laugh about his “situation?” He is a United States Veteran. I hadn’t seen him out and about for awhile so I thought he had died from exposure to the elements. Sometimes it’s just too hard for me to think about someone dying from being out in the cold when they don’t have to be. You see, because someone could, you know it could press upon their heart of compassion, to do something, you know like give them a hotel room for the night and it would get them out of the cold, because surely they don't want to be out there. And then maybe it would catch on and other people would want to do the same and then maybe, just maybe, we could bring all homeless people inside where they belong. Oh yes, and there are some of you, I know it’s easier to say they don’t want to come out of the cold, they like it there. There may be a few who feel this way, but just maybe it’s all they’ve ever known and grown accustomed to and they should have the choice. What would you do if you didn’t even have the choice? Isn’t it about being treated with respect? And why are homeless people any different? Then you say a lot of them drink alcohol. This may be true then why do you give them money to buy it when what they really need perhaps is food, clothing, shelter or even a warm shower? Complacency is what it’s called, but Jesus died for them too. In fact, the Bible tells us, “Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares" (Hebrews 13:1-2). Remember just because you have been blessed doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen to you. Be thankful you’re out of the cold winter elements and have a warm bed to sleep in. God Bless.
Note *Name has been changed to protect the innocent.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Love God And Love Your Neighbor

I went to the Mission de nombre de Dios here in Saint Augustine, Florida to sit on my favorite stone bench by the rustic altar. I was all alone. And I walked up to cross of Jesus where he is there displayed with all the nails in him. I touched his feet and I said, "Thank you dear Lord for dying on the cross for me and my sins, for which they are many." I looked out on the bay. And I began my reading in the book of Mark. Jesus was explaining to the disciples why he often used parables. And why some are shown the things of God and others are not. And I saw a fin appear from a large sea creature in the bay, it was that of a porpoise. And he swam in like circles for about five minutes then he was on his way back to the ocean. And then I looked up to an eagle sitting on the Great Cross. And I thought to myself, for those who do not believe, there is more evidence of a holy God than there is not. If one needs proof, just look around. God created it all. Believe on him, won't you? Then, I went downtown to the Post Office to check my mail. And a United States veteran was standing on the corner of Martin Luther King Blvd/King St, along with a woman aged from the sun, who was sitting. He told me that they are both homeless because of "bad divorces." Then, he asked me, "Do you know anyone who has a job?" (This should dispel any notion that all homeless people do not wish to work and are lazy). I told him about a website where he could search. He was most thankful. And then I went to my car and got something out of my styrofoam cooler for him and the lady to eat. And then I told him a Bible story, about how Jesus had no place to lay his head. And I do hope that I helped lift his spirit. And we said our, "God Bless You's" and I felt good in my heart. What have you done for Jesus today? Help someone won't you?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The prayer of a homeless man

I visit the United Methodist Church
the one on the corner where
the homeless panhandle
for their daily bread
I sit in the right front pew, alone
The minister asks us to stand
for a song of dedication
It is the final hymn
The organist positions her hands
on the keys, the music begins
and voices are raised to
“…Take my life and let it be…”
I lift up my voice in song
I am filled with the Spirit of God
A man not in church attire
runs down the isle to the altar
and drops violently to his knees to pray
He looks like he might be homeless
he has that look of desperation his face
The minister kneels down beside him
I struggle to sing the song
but I cannot even though I try
the tears flow down my cheeks
and inside I am broken for that man
And all the homeless people in the land
And I say, “dear Lord it shouldn’t be”
And then I hear the words,“consecrated to thee”
and I think if all my tears went up to the Lord as a prayer
then they were not in vain.

Friday, January 1, 2010

End Homelessness In America

What does homelessness feel like?

It feels like you have layed down on the railroad tracks to go to sleep and then a train comes and runs you over while you are sleeping.

Homeless in Winter

Now I lay me down to sleep
On this log in Bangor woods deep
The icy chill I feel in my bones
Is nothing compared to this feeling alone
I think of you in your warm bed
While I lay here feeling almost dead
Then I look up on the one bright star
and I remember my God is not very far
He who died taught us how to love one another
But I lay here with no help from you my brother
I wonder have you forgotten me?
*I wrote this poem after reading a news story of a homeless couple living in the woods of Bangor, Maine. I imagined what winter must feel like.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The homeless lady who wasn't

Do you think you would know a homeless person who wasn’t, if you saw one? Probably not. Not the classy kind of homeless person. Yeah, that would be the middle aged woman (who considers herself to be a lady). She drives over to the beach where there is a State Park and changes into her bathing suit and washes her temple in ivory soap and shampoos her auburn hair, early enough in the morning in hopes that she will avoid all the early birds who arrive at dawn for their morning walk, early fishing excursion, or those who sit in their car and gaze on women taking showers. She changes in the restroom into an outfit that would most likely disguise her from the appearance of homelessness. She appears in a dress, with hair combed, perfumed body, and head held high and with her manner of dress, would go a countenance of joyfulness, that everything in her life is just fine. She exudes the love of Jesus, despite her situation. And as she walks to her car, she tries to not draw any attention to herself. It terrifies her, the thought that someone might know, because the last thing that this homeless person wants you to take from her, is her dignity, because after all, it is about all she has left of herself. She drives away, and feels a sense of accomplishment, because for one more day, no one noticed, the homeless lady who wasn’t.
Heartstrings Two, Copyright © 2008 by Library of Congress


I have a thought. To not offer someone something that they need, to me, if a form of stealing from them. The reason is because, the Bible says, “He who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins” (James 4:17). If you know someone who needs a job and you have a job for them for pay, to offer them the job would help them, to not, means that you have withheld from them something that could have helped them. In the same way, if you know someone has no bread and you have a piece of bread to offer, why would you keep it? To me, you steal when you know that someone is hungry and you did not even offer a piece of bread to them. This is serious. Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.” Bread symbolizes fellowship with him. You have not only stolen food, but fellowship with the Lord. For the Christian body to withhold bread would seem to be an even greater offence because we all make up the body. To me, no matter how little you have you can always offer a piece of bread to someone. There is no excuse and the penalty may cost you your life with Jesus, forever. "Thou shalt not steal” (Exodus 20:15).
Heartstrings Two, Copyright 2008 © by Library of Congress