Summary: The plight of the homeless in America should be the concern of everyone of us, we should never look down on them as if they don't exist.
I have a burden for the homeless, my heart goes out to them every time I see someone roaming the dangerous streets of Houston, Texas. The Evangelist Malcolm Scott, Jr. once wrote that, “There is nothing worse then a burden less preacher” and cannot help but agree with him. And so if you should ask me what my burden is—it is for the invisible people, the homeless roaming the streets of America and the world today.
The other day I was forced to catch the Metro bus home due the fact that I had dropped my vehicle off the auto repair shop. My vehicle broke down on the freeway in ninety-plus weather. Distressed and brokenhearted I thought about how much it will cost me eventhough I do have a warranty. While I was riding on the bus feeling sorry for myself I noticed a man walking in the hot sun with grocery cart filled with his life’s belongings and right then and there God placed me back into the right perspective.
I thought to myself, I am on my way to a comfortable house, which has a rooftop, a refrigerator, a stove, and a central air system. But this man that few people even notice because he is invisible to them, has nowhere to go. Somewhere during the course of the week an officer with the Houston Police Department will run him away from a comfortable spot he found for the day, I know this will happen because this is a regular practice in large cities like Houston.
As I gazed at this brother, I wondered about his day. How many people did he approach for assistance today? How many people at least gave him a smile? The shelters in Houston, The Star of Hope, Salvation Army, and Goodwill, are so crowded until there is barely enough place left. Even if there were overnight shelter provided, soon as morning comes he would have to leave by 8 am and fend for himself the remainder of the day.
And so where did he sleep last night, and what did he eat? How many frowns did he see today, and how many ugly stares and scowls? I would note that in Houston, he is not allowed to use the so-called public restrooms in the downtown area and many other public places. Did anybody show him compassion or did they simply ignore him because they already judged him and found him unworthy? Here I am worried about my vehicle that is under warranty—and there is man who has nowhere to go and is most likely constantly judged for the condition he is in. What a spiritual awakening I received that day.
It really bothers me I will admit, when the so-called prosperity faith preachers condemn people of poverty and act as if being poor and is somehow a result of sin. One well-known electronic “name it and claim it” preacher once said during one of his you can be rich materially sermons, “poverty is a curse from God” but the fact is, it is NOT a matter of a curse either to be poor or to be rich in a physical way. It all depends on what God wants us to have at any given time in our lives. Our various phases of life that God allows us to enjoy or to endure are because of His blessing to all of us who know or endeavor to know His will, “The Lord killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and he bringeth up. The Lord maketh poor and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory" (I Samuel 2:6-8). There is nothing mentioned concerning poverty as being some sort of curse.
It is estimated there is well over 100 million homeless people worldwide. In America alone 16 million children are living in poverty and a large percentage of them are homeless children. Can you imagine a child being born homeless in the streets of your city? There are millions upon millions of reasons why they are homeless, to the point that we cannot become both judge and jury and attempt place them all under one umbrella and simply say it is because of some sort of sin they have committed or curse they are under. If this were the case almost every one of us would be homeless, because every one of us have fallen short of the glory of God.
Instead of condemning them I would love to see these electronic preachers following what the Lord says in Leviticus 25: 35 – 36, “If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you. Take no interest from him or profit, but fear your God, that your brother may live beside you.” What this preacher I mentioned is advocating or implying is that society needs to overlook the poor and homeless because there is a spiritual matter involved as to why they roam the streets without a home and he will have to answer for planting this falsehood in the minds of his listeners. What do our city and civic leaders have to say about this? “We don’t want them scaring away our tourist because that means lost dollars for our precious city” is usually the response from the mayor, the city council, and many civic groups. The solution? Treat them as if they are invisible.