“They choose to be out there on their own.” “They have no one to blame but themselves.” “It’s not my problem.” “Maybe it’s supposed to be that way for them to teach them a lesson.” How many times have you heard or maybe said that about someone who has things harder than you to deal with? We don’t know that at some point in our life we may have to turn around and depend on someone to help us out. To rely on the goodwill of others. To rely on charity…which in the Bible is defined as love? We don’t know what the plans are in our life. We have plans, but they may not be what is intended for us.
Most of the homeless that I have come across did not expect to be homeless. It happened. There may not have been one thing that could have changed the outcome. They don’t always choose to be homeless. Yes, some do, but that doesn’t mean that they deserve any less compassion. They don’t have any one to blame, not even themselves. And it should be our problem. We are supposed to have compassion for our fellow man. We are supposed to love each other, as we love ourselves. It’s in the Bible. It isn’t a suggestion, it is a commandment from Jesus. And maybe the homeless person is having whatever difficulty he or she is in right in front of you so that YOU will act and help them and learn a lesson, and maybe the lesson that the homeless person will learn is that people do have compassion!
What happens when the drunk homeless guy is unconscious in the parking lot? What happens when someone else is so short of breath from COPD that they can’t breath and they haven’t been prescribed any medication? What happens when they have been prescribed medication and it’s 10 miles away and they don’t have bus fare to go get it? What happens when they are alone and they have a diabetic crisis because their medications are too confusing? What happens when there isn’t someone to watch over them? Isn’t it the same as the elderly woman who lives alone that no one checks on? Or the grumpy old guy who everyone thinks is an ax murderer from 20 years ago that’s in his 90’s? What is the difference? I don’t think there is any. None at all. We are supposed to be our brother’s keepers. It says so in the New Testament, repeatedly. Do we just walk by the guy laying there or the guy who is so short of breath that he has turned grey? What would it hurt to just check on the guy that you know lives in the woods once in a while to be sure he is ok? Life is hard enough on the streets and on the road. Reach out and ask “are you ok”? Maybe they are ok, like the man and his son who were just waiting for the bus, but looked like something out of “In Search of Happyness”. But how horrible will you feel if you find out in the news later that there was a guy who was stabbed and laying in a parking lot, could have lived, but you walked on by because you thought he was drunk again? Reach out. Make contact. It could be you.