“People who are homeless are not social inadequates. They are people without homes.”
~ Sheila McKechnie
Homelessness is something that frightens many people. Those who are not homeless often look down upon those who are, considering that, somehow, they are “failures”. They did not do something right in their lives that landed them in their present condition. While that is often farthest from the truth, it is a myth that often pervades society. Those who are not homeless often fear those who are, thinking that they will rob anyone to get what they want. That, too, is untrue of the vast number of homeless.
The homeless seek shelter and protection. The homeless live in dire circumstances. The homeless often are deprived of the basic needs necessary to live a quality life. The homeless generally have no health care, no protection, no security. Homelessness affects people of all ages and all social circumstances. It is often only one tragedy that separates us from becoming homeless.
Homelessness is a situation that is often ignored by most people. However, at the present time, it is something we should all think about and, if possible, do something about. Homelessness in the spring, summer, and fall is bad enough. However, to be without shelter in the winter is not only a sad situation, it is a dangerous one for those left out in the cold. People freeze to death every year because they could not find adequate shelter, many times being turned away from shelters because they were already full.
In the Book of Lamentations, we hear a person cry out, “The thought of my homeless poverty is wormwood and gall” as he pours out his troubles to God. Homelessness is not only a physical reality, it is a spiritual one. We are all homeless since we are not with our God. We await the day when we are called home to be united with our God once again along with all of our family and friends who have gone before us.
Until that moment, we wander the earth, our souls crying out to God for peace, safety, and security. Yet, while we await the call of God to return home, we have the safety and security of a roof over our heads, food on our table, and warmth in our hearths. The homeless do not. There are many organizations that seek to provide meals and shelter for the homeless. They are always in need of help. Will you consider lending a hand to those who are not as fortunate as you?
FAITH ACTION: Pray for those who are homeless, particularly during the winter months. Consider volunteering at a shelter or soup kitchen.