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Monthly Archives: February 2014

Homelessness

Up until a very few years ago, I saw homeless people as ones who deserved to be homeless for one reason or another.  I instantly imagined that they must have done the very worst anyone could do to not have a home.  I felt nothing for them.  There was no pity for them at all.  Feelings of shame could rock me to the very core, but I do know that, at that time in my life, I was ignorant of so much.

Today, as I sit here and type this blog post for whomever to read, I want you to know that I am not as ignorant as I once was.  What I know now is that hard times can fall on anyone, at any moment in time.  I could be homeless next month.  Next week.  You could be, too.

Some causes and reasons for homelessness include those that can be read here.

I know there are people who mess up all on their own, and they mess up on purpose.  With that being said, I have to understand that those people also need help.  What is wrong with those who purposely sabotage or destroy their lives to the point of homelessness?  I don’t have the answer to that question, but I do know that something is terribly wrong.

I had an encounter with a homeless man yesterday, and he warmed my heart.  He didn’t beg me for anything.  As I talked with him, I began to gain a respect for him.  He talked about having God’s “good grace on me.”  That threw me for a loop.  Even more, he stated, “I pray that you have abundant blessings.”  Ummm…can you say choked up?  Here is a man who has no guaranteed shelter over his head on a daily basis, in dirty layered-on clothes, and with what seems to be everything he owns in a backpack praying that I have abundant blessings.  I almost just typed, “What is wrong with this picture?”.  But, I think the more appropriate question is, “What is right with this picture?”.

This man talks of having God’s “good grace,” yet he lives on the streets, eats whatever he can from wherever, and he wears dirty, smelly clothes every single day and night.

Perspective.

I couldn’t stop shaking his hand and smiling.  I just wanted to spend the whole day speaking with him. Because someone looks less fortunate than we do, we have a tendency to feel sorry for them or talk poorly against them.  What if they look at those who have and feel sorry for or talk poorly against them?  What if we who have are really the less fortunate?  What if we are less fortunate because we don’t feel (or recognize ourselves) as blessed or graced as this homeless man does?  That would be a horrific shame, wouldn’t it?

Here’s something to think about.  All of us who believe heaven is home are essentially homeless.  If heaven is home, and I believe it is, are we any better than those walking the streets looking for a roof over their heads or food in their mouths?  Are we really any better off? Are we to consider ourselves better people because we have a job, a car, a place to lay our heads every night?

Be grateful.  Be thankful.  Be joyful.

Love with all of your heart.  Give what you can.

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” — Matthew 25:40

You could be “the least of these” at any given second.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Born to Die

Sigh, I know that life on this planet will end for everyone eventually.  I know that in my heart of hearts that there is life after death.  The past few days, and this month in particularly, have become difficult due to deaths.  One was most recent, this past Friday, and it makes my heart so very sad.  Laura McDuff was one of the kindest, sweetest souls I’d ever met.  She was a professor at mine during one semester at West Texas A&M University.  I also worked with her at my present job.  She had a great smile, a really good laugh, and a caring heart.  I’m told she passed away due to a long-term illness.  My heart will mend.  She will be missed.

Last year, February 24th, a dear friend of mine took her life.  I think I pretty much knew that she would.  I had talks with her, cried with her, hugged her.  Due to false accusations, I was unable to be around her after that last encounter at the end of summer 2012.  I feel angry about that.  I warned her about consuming alcohol and medications.  I do not know the details of her death, nor do I need to.  I know that I miss the fun times I had with her.  I know that I hope she is at peace.  I know I wish I could have gone back to visit her.  I know that it will always be a sad thing for me.  Every single time I look at the moon, I think of her.  She was always taking pictures of the moon.  I look at the moon and say hi to her.  

I’ve had many people I care about take their lives, die in accidents, and of natural causes.  None of those is easier to take than the other.  I do need you to know that if you are feeling suicidal, there is help.  I know things feel heavy, lonely, and overwhelming.  Those feelings do not have to be permanent.  Death is.  Call me!  Call the cops!  Call a hotline!  Call a friend or family member!  Please, call someone!  

From the time we are born, we are born to die.  That’s the way it goes.  Nobody gets out of that.  

I have no idea if either of my friends, talked about in this post, believed in God.  I can only pray that they had that relationship with Him and both at peace, now.  I know that when I die, my body will be buried, but my soul will live on in the place that Jesus has planned for me.  Resurrection will come.  

I will deal with my grief the way that it comes.  I am not ashamed of it or afraid of it.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”  John 14: 1-3

 

That brings me peace.  Some of you reading this do not believe in God.  I know this.  I do believe, and I do not apologize for that.  No matter your belief, please understand and know that when you feel like nobody cares if you die, I do!  I do not need to know you to care.  I do not need to know you longer or deeper than I already do to care whether you live or die.  

Feel suicidal?  Go here and get help, please.

I do care.

 

     

       

       

       
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      Posted by on February 5, 2014 in Uncategorized

       

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