You Might Need A Homeless Friend

After much discussion with several of my Christian friends concerning my previous post

(What If The Apostle Paul Was Gay)

, I realized, that my understanding might differ significantly from theirs because I actually have, and always have had, friendships/relationship with people who are gay.  When you take real human beings out of the equation, it's very hard to speak into a situation which intimately involves real human beings.

All too often, we want to address people issues on an intellectual level without actually involving real life people in the equation.

What are you thinking when you see the guy/gal with the cardboard sign at the intersection?
  • They just want money for drugs/alcohol!
  • Why don't they just get a real job?
  • They are scamming us!

Are these judgments true?  Maybe.  In fact, there are many times where these judgments are right on the money.

However, let me tell you about M.  If you have driven around in C'ville, you have seen M.  He has laid claim to a particular intersection and can be found there most every day of the week.

  • Why doesn't M. get a job?  Because he has a criminal record.  Because he has severe glaucoma and can barely see.
  • What does M. do with his money?  He hopes and prays that he will receive enough money to pay for one more night in the cheapest flea bag motel in town.
  • If he is making that much money every day, why doesn't he get an apartment?  How do you get an apartment if you are living, day by day, hand to mouth?
  • Isn't there a program that can help M?  Yes.  He is on a long waiting list.
  • How does M. get out of this cycle?  I don't know.

He is a man with a good heart trying his best to survive.  Many of those people with those cardboard signs are good hearted people in desperate situations trying their best to survive.  Many of them went to war for their country and returned damaged.  They simply cannot function in normal society anymore.  Many of them are unable to get work because of their criminal record.  Many of them have been through one tragedy after another and are simply in a state of complete desperation.

Some of them just want money for beer.  Some of them are running a scam.  But, to be quite honest, guys like M. don't need to be unfairly judged as alcoholic scammers.  They are just trying to survive today.

Christian... you need a homeless friend.  You need an alcoholic friend.  You need to be friends with struggling people who need Jesus.  You need to get outside of your church walls and encounter that scorned and rejected woman at the well.  Hear their stories.  Share some of your time over a cup of coffee.  Listen and learn.

Our intellectual judgments fall short, if we are leaving real people out of the equation.