Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Homeless

The weather is freezing in Louisville so I can't imagine how frigid it is north of here. While there are shelters for the homeless they can't accommodate everyone in need. Many are turned away to find solace in abandoned buildings, beneath overpasses, in crack houses and worse. Hypothermia and death are scary possibilities. Please join me in praying for these invisible, hurting people who are in real danger. And thank God for the organizatoins who open their doors to serve them every day.

For the least of these,


Anonymous said...

I'm so, so grateful that I have a safe, warm home. I pray for my brothers and sisters who are too sick, afraid, etc. to seek shelter. I'm so grateful to Wayside here in Louisville -- they do so much to help those they shelter, and those who will not seek shelter as well.

My church, Valley View, is holding "Undie Sunday" this weekend. Everyone is being encouraged to bring in packages of new underwear to donate to local shelters. "Undie Sunday" sounds kind of silly, but can you imagine what it is like to live day in and and day out with no clean undergarments?

Thanks for reminding me to be grateful, to pray, and to actually do something for my brothers and sisters.

Candace Jean July 16 said...

I was just thinking of this at 5 am with schools and businesses closed all over here due to a foot of blowing and drifting snow and minus 20 windchill. I join you in prayer, and can't believe I even considered turning my thermostat up. Shame. On. Me.

Karen (KayKay) said...

I will join you in prayer. Have you read "Same Kind of Different as Me?"

Laura said...

Thanks for taking a look around through God's eyes and sharing it with us. :) I'm doing a missions trip in a month to work with the homeless in DC, and my co-missions-trippers and I are working our way through an awesome study about the least of these called "Get Uncomfortable". I highly recommend it if you're looking for a relatively short study that will get you thinking and clearly lay out the biblical response to suffering.

Gabrielle Eden said...

It was 18 below yesterday in Minneapolis. Can you imagine the homeless here? I can't even comprehend it!! I will join you in praying for them, Stacy. Thanks for remembering.

Paul Wilkinson said...

Here in Canada, temperatures are reported in Celsius, the U.S. now being one of only a handful of nations that hasn't converted to the metric system.

But this week it doesn't matter much since the Fahrenheit and Celsius temperature scales converge at minus 40 -- that is, -40F = -40C -- which is what it is up here tonight with the wind chill.

Some places in western Canada are reporting wind chills at -58, and when it gets to that point, does it really matter whether it's C or F?

J-Ra said...

You have no idea how encouraging this simple post was. Sometimes we'll hear people, Christian and non, saying, "OMgosh, it's so flipping cold out here, I need to go inside and turn on the heater," (which is only what I assume people say because I live in Phoenix, a city named after a bird that set itself on fire). But you, like Jesus did and like His followers should, took the focus off of yourself and considered those who don't have what you take advantage of.
Thanks a ton.

Rick the Polonian said...

Thank you for reminding me about my friends Mike, John, James, and Kimm, who live under a bridge near where I work.

These are real people who have real names and real families and who have real feelings and souls just like the rest of us.

God have mercy for us all having fallen short.

Marni said...

Everytime it gets cold, I pray for those who don't have the chance to take a hot bath and sleep in a warm bed like I do every night. I hope God gives me insomnia if I forget to remember those who don't have what I do.

My husband, my friends and I have a homeless ministry in Dallas. The director of one of the shelters we work with told us on bitterly cold nights, he packs them in until there is no space left for a body to sleep (hoping the Fire Marshall won't kick the overflow of extra people out). Then he goes out looking for the people sleeping under bridges and parking garages or wherever else they can find. He covers them with a blanket, leaves them a Bible, prays over them and moves on to the next person. He does this in some of the darkest, coldest, worst areas of the city. It's his calling for the least of these.

katdish said...

Thanks for this post. It's not nearly as cold in Houston as it is in Louisville and other places, but still, when you're outside and living under a bridge, cold is cold. The humidity that makes it miserable in the summer here makes it miserable in the winter as well. Our little church plant has met and befriended some homeless men that were recently chased out from their spots under an overpass nearby. We are helping them as best we can, but if anyone has any pearls of wisdom they could share about how we can better help these folks, I would greatly appreciate it!

And Rick is right. Everyone has a story. When you take the time to learn someone's name, it becomes more difficult (and hopefully, impossible) to look the other way when you see them on the streets.

Raw Faith Real World said...

Here in town the city has said that the area churches can open their facility one night a week during the season where it's coldest to shelter the homeless and feed them. Every year there's not enough churches to make up the week. The church I used to go to did it. It was really interesting to see two or three hundred people sleeping in the church all over on cots and on the floor. But it's a lot of work and dealing with the mental illness/drugs etc. It's not for the faint of heart. My favorite music ministry times by far was there. It was great hanging out and serving dinner and then playing for them afterwards. Every time we played we would do a lullaby for them. It was amazing to see these big hardened guys bawling like babies... they still needed the love of a father and family... the stories I could tell you. That kind of ministry is so much a part of my heart. Every time it gets cold here I see all of their faces. Thanks for the reminder of what is important.