October is domestic violence month. There is a post on my blog Tree of Hope Ministries about domestic violence that is from the experiences I have had living among the homeless. Many men who became homeless early in their lives did it because of the domestic violence in their homes-they were abused and they saw their mothers and siblings abused. Becoming homeless as a teen is a terrible thing. You lose your support system, you often become a victim and a target for predators among the homeless. You lose your education because you can’t finish school. Drugs and prostitution become a way of survival. The loss of a home at that age is really terrifying, though some will tell you otherwise. They leave out of desperation and fear, and become part of a system that often can’t be overcome.
We have come so far from the teachings of Jesus when it comes to caring for others. To see someone on the streets today initiates distrust in most of us. Who is that person, walk around them, ignore them. All negative responses. You don’t know the history of the person, so you don’t trust, or maybe you just don’t care because your heart is so hardened. Maybe the woman approaching you at the gas pump really is down to change in her purse and dregs in her gas tank, in a strange town, and she is trying to get money to get away from an abusive situation. I posted a story about a woman and her daughter early in this blog. She was abused and her daughter was sexually assaulted by the man who was supposed to be a father figure and a husband. She made it across country by the grace of God and the help of strangers. What happens to those who don’t have help, don’t know where to turn. She was pursued by the abuser and he was caught. Not everyone is that lucky. She could have ended up dead and the daughter kidnapped. It happens. Your Christian kindness can very easily be the difference between survival and hunger, of safety and fear. The Holy Bible says “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Hebrews 13:2 (KJV). Not only is it the Christian thing to help another and show hospitality, you never know who it is you might be helping. We all are faced with trials everyday, including the trial of trust and Christian caring. Without helping others, we are nothing as Christians, because “faith without works is dead.” James 2:26. To help a victim of domestic violence is an act that requires caution, but it still needs to be done. If not, and to know it is happening, not acting is the same sin as the abuse.
Be aware of the displaced people where you live. Cold weather is coming, and many need help. If you know how to help someone who is a victim of domestic violence, please do. If you know someone is being abused and don’t know how to help, call a domestic victims’ help center. Trust that God and Jesus want you to help others. It’s the way this world is going to change. One person at a time.
God bless you.