Yesterday I read the Facebook status of a friend, and colleague whose life and work has changed my personal view on poverty and homelessness to a great degree – and found myself thinking.
(I) Met a man outside experiencing homelessness. He told me he was hungry. I had a Kashi bar in my bag. I gave it to him, and gave him some resources to get assistance.
He looked at me and said “how come the dope boys can work on the streets and Atlanta can build a new stadium, but I can’t find a job because I don’t have an identification or a mailing address?”
I didn’t have an answer.
But I know the answer is You and me.
Experiencing homelessness – I had never thought of that exact wording and find it fascinating and intriguing.
So many of my Christian conservative acquaintances and friends these days are fighting all welfare spending so desperately – I wonder if they remember any of Jesus’ commands regarding the homeless, the unloved, the widow, the orphan – those who don’t measure up to our often self-righteous standards.
Then I came across this story in The Atlantic about the return and rise of hunger in America, and think to myself that we have so far to go. For those who do like to proclaim that the United States is a “Christian” nation – maybe we should start taking care of our fellow humans a bit. Matt. 7:16, 22, 23, I John 4:20.
If one of you tells him, “Go in peace; stay warm and well fed,” but does not provide for his physical needs, what good is that? So too, faith by itself, if it is not complemented by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.… James 2:16-18
Hopefully, as a society, we’ll see that it is cheaper to feed and educate our nation than deal with the social outcomes later that often derive from these needs being unmet.
*Lead image and statistics from http://www.feedingamerica.org/