I’ve been both busy and sick in recent days. I have not ignored the homeless, though true enough, I didn’t post either.
Here’s my personal regurgitation of the recent story and my own thoughts on it which Lubbock is sure to ignore:
So, right in the midst of our long, overdue summer rains about 10 days ago (give or take), the evening news featured a woman taking shelter under the gazebo in Clapp Park during a heavy downpour. The pictures alone were worth millions of words! Late in the evening, after dark, rain coming down in buckets, and here this poor woman struggles to keep – not dry, but out of the drench.
They showed her propping up a small windbreak on the picnic table behind which she ate food hunkered down like a climber on Everest. Then in the next cutaway, she was bedding down on the picnic table wrapped in a plastic tarp for all she was worth.
My God! I couldn’t help but think how channel 9 news just offered this sacrificial lamb up to any ill intended salivating wolf who happened to be watching TV at that hour!
What made this newsworthy?
Well, a combination of things really, because I have seen that very image multiple times when the broadcasters didn’t carry the story. It seems this woman is something of a poster child for “the deserving poor,” on the one hand and, on the other, none of the usual shelter services would take her. She fell through the proverbial cracks.
Yeah. I was stunned. Lubbock’s homeless shelters suddenly made the news for NOT being there for the poor! This has been an untold story for a decade now, but it got passing mention for once!
Yeah, the reporter listed off the three main shelter services in Lubbock and explained the excuse each gave for why they could not keep this woman. (None worthy of a pass for the goats and sheep in Matthew 25, but excuses nonetheless.)
The woman appears not much older than me. Newly homeless, she only recently lost her job and her place to live. She is a mother! Though, I expect her kids are grown, and they were not featured in the report. But she was not a drunk or addict, and she recently had it all. Somehow, she still has a good attitude, which came across very positive on camera.
The first time I saw this story run, I looked around my house, talked to my wife about it, and I strongly felt the urge to drive down to Clapp Park and find her, bring her here. I literally could drive past a minimum of two dozen churches to get there and back, but if Lubbock’s homeless ministry already doesn’t have any room at the inn in September, by God, I reckon it’s up to me.
I’m not gonna lie. I didn’t go after her. I complained and moaned about it for half an hour, but I did not go get her. I have a million excuses, two or three of them being really good too. I have a foster kid in this house and bringing in a stranger like that would get the other one I already have in here taken away. That is a GOOD excuse, though I take no comfort in it.
But a week later she was in the news again. Things are looking up for her since her story first aired. Somebody put together a GoFundMe account and she has over $4000, a new car, and some man from Idalou (a neighboring town OUTSIDE of Lubbock,) saw the same report and he too was moved, only he actually went down to Clapp Park and found her.
Praise the Lord! Some Jesus-lover out there responded! Thank You, Jesus!
Of course, this “solution” cuts against the sound business advice they teach at the shelter services which were all too busy to help this woman. Giving this woman money is not the right thing to do, according to them. However, these same services (one in particular especially) advertise on TV a dozen times a day bragging about all the great things they do for needy people. Their website boasts all the biggest donors, and they operate on a million-dollar budget.
You can send THEM your money if you want to REALLY help needy people.
Just not this nice lady, of course.
Somehow the TV news managed not to notice any of that.