Taking my cue from a pretty good TV commercial, the past few days I have been singing “Home for the Holidays” and then adding “but Jan and I will be homeless for the holidays.” I was trying to be funny because Jan and I have sold our house and are moving to Texas, but will not occupy our new home until March. We will hardly be homeless, however, as we will be with our daughter and two grandsons in their home for Christmas, New Years, and beyond.
A couple of days later it occurred to me that what I had been saying wasn’t funny. Jan and I will not be homeless, but there are many who are homeless and will be for the holidays. And I’m quite sure they would not think what I was singing and saying was humorous.
The next day I was having lunch with several friends, and the discussion turned to the homeless. Stories were exchanged about times when we had helped homeless people and one couple shared about their church’s outreach to the homeless in a major city. It was obvious everyone’s actions to help the homeless had been a blessing to them. Needless to say, the conviction I had come to the day before about my humor was cemented.
I don’t have any advice or suggestions with regard to what to do for the homeless, but I certainly think we should care. And I think it is far too simplistic to assume it is all their fault. I’d be willing to get involved in a bigger way, but for now I can give to some. I know there are scammers out there holding up signs and asking for money, but I can’t tell who is or who isn’t legitimate. I’m willing to risk being taken in order to give to someone who needs help. I know what I give won’t solve the problem of being homeless, but it may make a difference.
Since we are in the Christmas season I am reminded that the night Jesus was born His parents weren’t homeless, but they had no place to stay in Bethlehem. And during his ministry Jesus disclosed that He “had no place to lay his head” (Luke 9:58). Jesus understands what it is to be homeless; and not only does He understand, He cares about the homeless. Because He cares, as His followers, it seems to me that rather than belittle or despise the homeless, we too should care.
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photo credit: zetson <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/66814335@N00/3113723865″>Nearly Christmas and a (hopefully) New Year</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>