Severe Weather Alert, The Homeless, & God’s Shepherds

We face our first (of likely many for the season) severe storm alerts tonight in our city.  The wind has become ugly all afternoon with blowing dust to match.  No, it’s not a Haboob, but I didn’t notice anyone taking a picnic to the park today.  It’s ugly.  And thunderstorms are forming in the area now.

The gutter is likely to flood tonight, so…

Where do the homeless go when the weather gets bad?  There are some options for them in our city, but none involve the church (unless something has changed since I last heard of it).  Tent City (“Grace Campus”, these days) has a barn that will hold street drifters as an emergency shelter, but that is the only option I have heard of in recent times, and I am unclear if they will take people in for spring thunderstorms.  But I am out of the loop – what with keeping foster kids and all.

So… where does a street-homeless person go if the thunder and rain and hail come down in the night?  That is a good question.

I often look around for such impromptu shelters when I am out and about.  There are a few abandoned buildings, carports, and businesses that are closed for the night which have a corner or overhang someone could huddle in if they really had to.  There are bridges and overpasses, but those stand to flood underneath when the storm rages, so they are probably not wise.  But then most of the other options I just suggested involve breaking a law or trespassing/loitering where that is not allowed.

A guy might be able to walk the aisles of a Wal-mart or some other all-night retail store.  He might even get a bit of sympathy from management for the duration of the storm, but there is no guarantee.

But what about God’s Shepherds?  Where are they???  What does a shepherd do?  Luke 15:3-7 anyone???

I know full well that not every shepherd of the sheep can or should be out searching for the homeless in the storm.  Some shepherds are too old and brittle for that job.  Some already have their hands full down at the cancer ward.  Some are tending to yet other needs, and that is okay, up to a point.

But how many shepherds serve on teams that hold meetings weekly or monthly?  Can they not coordinate?  And don’t count on the Premier Homeless Church to do this; they started running all their flock off the property at night several years ago and have worked hard to shape public perception of that as okay.  So, a shepherd of most any church in town might be tempted to think this task is covered already by other pastors, but that is not the same as leaving 99 on a hill to go after the lost one, now is it?  It’s your job to look into it.

I hope you will.  Tonight is one of those nights when God’s shepherds go looking.

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4 comments

  1. Ron Exum · March 23

    The local news reports the Salvation Army is taking in folks. I’m surprised you didn’t know. And my impression is that the leaders of our churches and generally missing from most hands on events. But I don’t think that’s news. Mmmm

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    • Agent X · March 23

      I had not heard word from SA. Glad you share that. It is one of the options, alright.

      Yes… the shepherds are often missing from most hands on events. Seeking strays seems to be one that almost defines their existence. Mmmmm, for sure…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. T. F. Thompson · March 23

    About then years ago, I was here in town visiting from mid-state. A friend of mine was in jail and of course, Florida being what it is, a hurricane blew in. I took shelter under the eve of a building rented out by the state for Children’s and families. I remained there at night for two weeks and no, it wasn’t bad at all. Other than say, perhaps a lot of wind, no big deal. I managed to stay dry enough but too, I couldn’t go anywhere either. There was no fear of discovery as everyone was gone due to the storm and I knew they had no security either. At other times, when there was no storm I would go on the other side of the building that wasn’t being rented by the state. There I slept out in the the open on a folding cot I hide during the daytime. All of this worked well until several brutal murders that occurred. BTW in that same building were three churches. While one had a great ministry their failure is that they would not come together to make one group strong enough to actually accomplish very much. However, I thought they were cool.

    Too, other times, I bought a very cheap tent from Wal-mart, used it, some times sold it to others and still other times, gave it away. This goes on a lot out on the street. However, more times than not, they will cover your back. Finally, street people treated me as a king. I’ve actually never been treated so well except by those on the street who were more than willing to help and or to share.

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  3. Agent X · March 24

    I saw the late newscast last night, which came on later than usual due to basketball games. This is ironic. The storm had mostly passed by then. Of course the weather girl wanted to talk at length about what we had just experienced.

    Anyway, the lead story on KLBK was about the effect storms have on the homeless and the opportunity Grace Campus and Salvation Army gives them. These are the two big options geared toward helping the homeless alright. And they claimed they had enough space to take in all of Lubbock’s homeless! This is good news.

    Of course the same story featured an interview with a homeless lady who testified to toughing it out in storms in Ft. Worth last year living under a bridge – AND she made a point to say that when you are living on the streets there is a good chance you don’t know the storm is coming until it arrives. Most homeless folks don’t have TV and radio to warn them. There are LOTS of chances to miss the information. (This is what the top story on the news told us last night.)

    I was impressed that KLBK had a second story featuring the homeless and even the Lubbock Police Dept’s Homeless Outreach Team. Sadly, that story was about trash generated by people living on the streets that causes litter. But at least KLBK featured the homeless at a timely time (except it was late due to basketball). And options were promoted.

    Still, in my view the Shepherds have THIS responsibility by design (its in the Bible) and it is being left to LPD’s HOT. And the lady giving testimony obviously could have benefited from a good shepherd.

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