Homelessness

When you think of a homeless person, what is the first thought that comes to your mind? Is it a feeling of empathy or disgust? Whenever I ask people how they feel about them there are only two answers that I’m given. They are either disgusted by them or have a deep love for them with nothing in between. In Matthew 22:39 says And the second is like, unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. So who is your neighbor? Everyone. We are to love everyone equally as much as we love ourselves. One of our homeless friends had told me his story one day and really saddened my heart. His mother was quite the partier and would take off from time to time between the ages of 5-8 years old. She hardly ever left food in the house but had quite a bit of alcohol stashed in different places. Often times drinking this just to feel fed. At the age of 8, his mother had left for good, abandoning him to fend for himself. He bounced around from family member to family member, but no one wanted to kee top him. He eventually ended up homeless, taking different jobs just to feed his alcohol addiction and get a little bit of food. Do you ever think that you or your family could ever be homeless? Has the thought ever crossed your mind? Quite often we are comfortable with how our lives are, feeling safe and secure with our jobs and savings accounts. We have a car or two in the driveway and shelter from the elements. 2018 November 8th through the 25th in Paradise California was a devastating fire that ripped through Butte County. 153,336 Acres were burnt to a crisp. 18,804 buildings burnt with 85 fatalities, non-fatalities at 12 civilians and five firefighters, with one person missing. They evacuated 52,000 persons and the total damage estimated at 16.5 billion dollars. I’ll bet that most of these people never thought that they would ever lose their homes, workplace, businesses, and family. The fact is that most of us feel quite content where we are that the thought of homelessness never crosses our minds. This is life! Accidents and natural disasters happen without warning. This is a prime example of why we should never judge any one. At any given moment everything that we know and love can be ripped away and destroyed. We would end up being homeless, at least for a while. Matthew 7:1-5,”Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in someone else’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say,’ Let me take the speck out of your eye, when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from the other person’s eye. We can walk around pointing fingers at others making judgment calls, looking at others as though they are not as good as us, or we can be a solution to the problem. James 4:13-14 Come now,you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. That’s a pretty powerful statement. We don’t have the slightest clue as to what our life will hold. When we are called for judgement will we stand in front of God and show Him our bank accounts, vehicles and extra large homes. Saying, look at everything I have done for myself? Or show him how we helped to make our fallen brothers or sisters see the love of God through giving our time, money and compassion. Seeing as though throughout all of the Bible Jesus spent almost all His time with the less fortunate as God asked Him to do, shouldn’t we follow his example as christians?

Published by Matthew, Karen, and God

Karen Guthrie, a retired Bank Manager, Vice President, and Matthew Moore, who works in construction, are members of the same church. In March 2014, they both joined the Oakdale Rescue Mission Board of Directors. They started sharing their stories with one another on how God has greatly impacted their lives.

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