Thursday, 15 May 2008
and homelessness can be so arbitrary - when I was doing a XangaTV streamcast with the rapcore band POD, we went to a local park in a rough part of San Diego. what struck me was when Sonny (the lead singer of the band) was drawn to a homeless man pushing a cart near the park's bathroom. turns out, the homeless man was sonny's neighbor and friend. there sonny was making multiplatinum albums while his friend he grew up with was looking for something to eat. this was reality - the same chances of immense success had the same chances of poverty and homelessness.
I'll admit, it's difficult seeing homeless people - it's easy for our hearts to break. One of the first things I wonder is how they got to where they are....maybe they lost their family, maybe they're suffering from mental illness...or is it drugs? or alcohol? or is it laziness?
that's the thing - the mind wanders from compassion to judgement and it seems like such a fine line...
talking to a few of my christian friends, many choose not to give money when approached by a homeless person. they think that by giving them money, they'll just go out a purchase alcohol or drugs and just fall deeper into their bad habits. my other friends always give - with the argument that they need...and in their humility of asking is something worth rewarding.
i'm torn - i make up artificial rules (if i have singles, if something good happens to me that day and i need to pay it forward, etc...) what challenges me most is this verse from Matthew 25:
"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
I think the great thing about this passage is not that these people helped the stranger, the hungry, and everyone else in need...but they did it unknowingly. they didn't do it for the king, or for their friends, or for anyone - but they just did it. i pray that one day i'll be there too.
so how about you? what's your take on the homeless? do you help them? why or why not? and what ways do you help instead?