Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A lot to be Thankful for

From Psalm 107

1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.
2 Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—
    those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
3 those he gathered from the lands,
    from east and west, from north and south.
4 Some wandered in desert wastelands,
    finding no way to a city where they could settle.
5 They were hungry and thirsty,
    and their lives ebbed away.
6 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.
7 He led them by a straight way
    to a city where they could settle.
8 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
    and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
9 for he satisfies the thirsty
    and fills the hungry with good things.

I was going to post this to my blog yesterday but then ran out of time and couldn’t think of anything to say about it anyway. Today, I was hit in the face with the reality of homelessness and just now read this again. Wow. Once again, God’s timing is impeccable.

It’s so easy to stereotype the homeless – they live in a big city, they have a drug or alcohol history, they suffer from mental illness, they are lazy, they could have a nice home if they wanted one but instead they choose to live on the streets. You can’t say that every homeless person fits into one of these stereotypes. Or that even most of them do. Each homeless person is as different as each snowflake. Each has a pattern and a story of their very own. And the best way to start to help them is to not judge and to instead treat them as a person, the same way that you would like to be treated.

 Today, at the time, I gave this homeless person everything that I could under the circumstances. Was it enough? As I sit here in my warm house with a full belly and a cat on my lap, I’d have to admit no. But I can’t let guilt weigh me down. I’m left with little to do except to pray for this person and for the people who I must trust to help him. Then I have to turn it over to God.

Not your typical Thanksgiving day message, huh? If you are reading this, though, where ever you, whatever your circumstances, you have a lot to be thankful for. 


Beth Camp said...

Chris, thank you for these thoughts about those who rely on others for the comforts of home. We used to work in a soup kitchen, but health issues make this no longer possible. I am thankful for every good word and action that others take. My favorite quote goes something like this: We are not asked to finish, but we are required to start.

Denise said...

Thank you for reminding us. Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving my friend.