Thursday, January 28, 2016

IF YOU HAD TO CHOOSE

I saw a sight tonight that I can not get off my mind.  As I left the shelter--after dark and in the cold---I spotted a woman walking down the sidewalk.  She had a huge rolling suitcase and two stuffed plastic bags.  She would roll her suitcase a block---leave it-go back and get the plastic bags and repeat.  It broke my heart.  The shelter is located in a part of town where you do not stop after dark and on a street with heavy traffic.  I could not help her---I have prayed for this nameless homeless over and over since---but it pulled at my heart strings to see her struggle.  Now why was she not in the shelter?  I have no idea--and will never know.  I do know the last meal was being served at the shelter as I left and she was headed the other way.

Photo credit:america.aljazeera.com

NOW--before you tell me this is a choice for many---I know that---what I also know is the poor are among us for a reason.  What response is required from us?  I have heard many great plans for helping the very least of the least.  From handing out gift cards to fast food restaurants and grocery stores to carrying sacks with water, peanut butter crackers, granola bars etc. to hand out.  My normal response is when God prompts I give enough cash to buy a meal.  Dangerous--perhaps--and perhaps the money will go for the wrong things---but I am not in charge of that--I am in charge of my response.


Jesus told us---"The poor will be with you always"--which might cause the question---Why?  And this statement is repeated in three of the Gospels--so it bears great importance.  Perhaps they are among us for good reason.  Perhaps it is not all about them--but our response to them.  For some it certainly is a choice--but I have met many a family while volunteering  that this is not the life they would prefer.  They are desperately seeking a boost to get back into the real world and out of the dorm life of the shelter.  The mission is doing an excellent job of giving them that arm up to self sufficiency.  

The purpose of this post is not all I have said to this point, but instead--

IF YOU HAD TO LIVE LIKE THE HOMELESS
WHAT WOULD BE IN YOUR BAG?

If you were limited to only the possessions you could carry, what would you take with you?  Knowing that you would be responsible for physically carrying it all---what would be important?  This gives new meaning to minimalism.  I do not have an answer for you--the intent is for you to think it over---I have done a great deal of thinking since I saw this poor woman last night. 


If you had to choose, what would make the cut?

For you always have the poor with you,
but you will not always have me.
Matthew 26:11

6 comments:

  1. Thank you Lulu for this wonderful article. I have great respect for you working amongst the homeless in the shelter. I know I could not do that. So thank you again.

    Whilst working in London, in the richer parts of that city, where limousines draw outside high class hotels and restaurants and rich people come out bejewelled all over; I saw poverty indeed. I saw the homeless sitting in corners at the back of these same hotels trying to get some warmth from the vents in the walls. I saw similar poverty and worse when in Edinburgh and elsewhere in our so called rich country. And it's getting worse, Lulu.

    I attempted to answer your question "Why did Jesus say the poor will always be with us?"; a few years ago on my Blog. Here's the link: http://timeforreflections.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/why-no-one-asked-jesus.html

    I don't know whether I can answer your second question "IF YOU HAD TO LIVE LIKE THE HOMELESS
    WHAT WOULD BE IN YOUR BAG?" I know I am grateful, very grateful, that I am not in this position.

    You really have a gift of asking very penetrating queations, Lulu, to make us all think and soul-search. We often/sometimes go through life totally unaware of the luxuries we have got compared to the poverty others have to live in.

    Thank you so much, Lulu. May God bless you for all your good works. You often ask in this Blog what plans God has for you. I think you have answered your question with today's marvellous post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are more kind than I deserve, Victor. We all have been given different. & are charged with using them to glorify Him. I am certain you do the same since you make me laugh almost everyday !
      Blessings!

      Delete
  2. I pray that I never find that out...I know of a fellow college student is homeless---well---no "home" to go home to---so he lives in campus housing year around. He has no family, no worldly possessions, no one to go home to for the holidays etc. nothing. I saw him the other day and said, "Ryan, why did you not email me like I asked too? We would of picked you up, at least You would of gotten fed." His reply, "I don't need charity!" CHARITY..I wanted to wring his neck and told him so, he never did return my emails, so I know he was avoiding me. I know for a fact that boy did not eat much, he works a little part time job in the village and that is it. I also know of at least 3 students who have been homeless for various reasons...just so sad...

    What a powerful post, Lulu...Blessings to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the poor are all around us- all we have to do is open our eyes! As for Ryan, he needs to be challenged as to why he allows his Pride to keep others from the Blessing of helping him. I will pray for Gif to soften his heart!
      Blessings, My Friend!

      Delete
  3. I don't know, we've tried helping poor people before and it doesn't seem to help. They're living like that because of poor decisions in their lives (drugs, tattoos, lazy, etc.) and nothing will change that. I just pray for them now.
    As for "IF YOU HAD TO LIVE LIKE THE HOMELESS WHAT WOULD BE IN YOUR BAG?" Well, duh, a gun or rifle with lots of ammo and matches. Also, keys to the truck so I can go hunt the food. A country girl will survive.
    Hope your day is blessed. ~:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suppose, not unlike the middle class, it takes all kinds, Sparky. And yes, I have questioned why some seem to be satisfied with this place in life. I also go back to the question of why Jesus thought it important enough for "The Poor" to be mentioned in 3 of the 4 Gospels. I was left with the impression--it is our response that is important not whether or not they had made the choice to be poor.

      I laughed at your list of your provisions you would have in your bag. With more and more landowners not allowing hunting on their property--that could lead to a problem! As for the truck---well not many of the homeless have transportation--nor money for gasoline.

      It is a perplexing problem!
      Blessings, Friend!

      Delete

Your comments keep my writing and often cause me to think. A written form of a hug or a pat on the back and an occasional slap into reality---I treasure them all!