Thank you for your concern. (If you are reading this, surely you are concerned). And for any and all prayer, kindness, and charity you showed through the holiday season, thank you. (Many of you donated to the Salvation Army red kettles; some of you volunteered at soup kitchens and/or passed out blankets etc.) Every ounce of care you gave matters and is appreciated. Thank you, again.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are now over. Most of you turned your attention to your own homes in the last few days (not inappropriate for the most part). After all, these two holidays celebrate HOME more robustly than any other. You gave gifts to one another, celebrated various family traditions, and ate a lot of rich food – and did most of that in a warm house, perhaps next to a crackling fire. And that was the two holidays all year that are most likely to raise your awareness of the homeless.
Now… with Thanksgiving and Christmas behind us, the homeless return to “normal” – largely forgotten.
Meanwhile, the weather continues to bring winter cold.
The TV newscasters don’t have holiday photo ops for preachers and politicians down at the shelter now. The homeless tend to just slip back into obscurity. Before you know it, it will be fashionable again to look down your nose on the homeless and blame their plight on their own laziness or say that they choose it.
On behalf of the homeless, I ask you – and this is especially directed at the church and the faithful – to pray for the homeless and seek ways to serve. That is Jesus out there (Matt. 25:40) that you drive past on your way to church. That is him you label as “lazy” without even talking to him to find out what complicates his life and makes him endure your scorn, your neglect, and/or your punishment. And if that is not your own attitude, it certainly is the attitude of plenty of your friends and neighbors.
Surely we can do better. Think about it.