Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah"1 (Lyrics)
Last year, I had emergency surgery and nearly died. For a week after I was released from the hospital, had it not been for the kindness of my son-in-law's sister, I would not have had a place to go. My landlord had just sold his house when I was taken to the hospital, and he needed me out as soon as possible, but my new suite wasn't ready. I would have had to take a hotel room, so it gave me a taste of homelessness — but nothing compared to what some dear souls are going through.
Many communities are facing the challenge of homeless people. The reaction of most people is "Not in my neighbourhood!" There have been many meetings in the community that I live in, and a supportive living home is being considered. However, there are many protests. I understand the concerns of property owners, but I also realize that but for the grace of God, I, too, could be homeless. Disaster often strikes without any warning, and many are living from paycheque to paycheque.
There was another who was homeless — Jesus.
Matthew 8:20 – And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head." (NKJV)
Our Lord was even born in a stable because there was no room for his family in the inn.
The apostle Paul also knew what it was like to be broken and homeless:
1 Corinthians 4:11 – To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. (NKJV)
If Jesus needed a place to sleep near you, would you say, "Not in my backyard"? Would we not give Him our best bed and clothing, and feed Him? Jesus said, "Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me." (Matthew 25:40b NKJV)
We should treat others as kindly as we would wish to be treated in similar circumstances. We need to encourage rather than discourage. Let us each do as much as possible to help the homeless, even if it is just giving a friendly hello. I am almost 85, and not wealthy by any means. However, for the past few years, I have been knitting scarves and hats, and donating them to the homeless as the cold weather sets in. Perhaps you can do something as simple as that, or some other service like making up packs of essential personal care products. There are also various organizations that we can volunteer with or donate to.
Prayer: Dear Father God, there are so many in our midst today who are broken-hearted, downtrodden, hungry, and homeless, without a place to lay their heads. Instil in Your people kind and charitable hearts and help us to realize that any one of us could be in similar circumstances. Bless those who are out there helping to the best of their means and abilities. Help us to realize that we are our brothers' keepers. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.