Home is where people are made. (At least it should be.) Home is where people come from; home is what people work for. Home is what you send your children to distant lands to defend. Homeland security is the biggest single expense to the American budget. Home is important. Home, it seems, is the key to everything.
Home is what homeless people need. But how do you give it to them?
I will acknowledge that “a job” surely plays a role in the larger picture. But what is a job without a home? You had a home before you had a job. If you didn’t, then that is a shame.
We cannot ignore the huge fact that taking in homeless people will disrupt our home. We cannot ignore the fact that we will need to establish and maintain boundaries as we take them in from the cold. We cannot ignore the fact that things are changing one way or another whether we like it or not. Nor can we ignore the fact that “The American Dream” cannot cope with any of this either.
The church we find in Acts 2:43-45 is not combined, defined, or confined with The American Dream. It is not godless communism either, but it is a form of communism. It pays no respect to modern capitalism whatsoever. And so, we really must open our hearts to God’s world order and rethink what that means. (More on that another time.)
In the meantime, we must open our homes to God in new and risky ways. We need to be shrewd about it, sure, but determined too. We must be willing to sacrifice deeply and risk it all. This is the call of Jesus.
But you know what? It is also quite natural for anyone who has ever brought a newborn infant into their home. The new child comes in and dominates almost every ounce of energy and attention. The child craps and pukes on her parents. It takes a long, long time (which in retrospect seems so short) to discipline and train this child to be a responsible adult. But home is where people are made – starting with conception and going through adulthood.
No. Homeless men and women are not newborn children. There are significant differences. But the similarities are striking. The sacrifice and risk is all there. The long, long time involved is all there. The crap and puke (both real and metaphorical) are all there. And the making of humanity is there too.
Home is where people are made.
Think about it.