I just finished reading Breakfast at Sally’s. I was moved. It was an eye-opening book. It is a book about the homeless. It debunks the stereotype person who calls the street or the church parking lot or his car or an alley or the woods (and so forth) his home. The author of the book finds himself living in his van, after having led the good life and loosing it all.
Last month I wrote an article entitled: Foreclosure…The Silent Killer. It has been published as an ezine article, and I also included it as a post on my blog. I emailed over 400 family members, friends and acquaintances and personally asked them to read my blog and pass it along. I did copy and paste the same message in each email, along with the link to my blog, but I individually sent each message and typed the person’s name into the greeting. It took me about a week to get the emails out.
My goal was then and remains to be helping people become aware of the tremendous stress and strain that losing one’s home puts on individuals and families alike. I was shocked, but then again, not so much, by the response and lack thereof that my email caused.
I have had people I barely know open up to me about financial troubles they are having. I have had people I know well open up to me in frank honesty. I have had people I didn’t know at all comment on some level, thanking me for telling this not-so-fun-to-share tale of mine.
I have had people that I was close to; pastors, leaders and folks who lay claim to the title “Christian” not respond at all. It doesn’t matter, however, for that wasn’t my purpose, to solicit a response. My hope, and more importantly my prayer, is for those that I know and those that I don’t, to respond to those around them who have a need in whatever capacity but especially to those folks who have lost their homes. Or better still, to those who are about to.
As was related in the book I read, homelessness is but a breath or two away from any one of us at any given time. Someone could die, become injured or ill, lose their job or have their business fold and there we are. “But for the grace of God there go I,” especially in this age when so many are unemployed and the rising cost of gas, which will inevitably affect the cost of food, which continues to trickle down so that no one, except for the most affluent, will be immune. This downward financial spiral will touch us all in one way or another.
Not trying to be a Debbie Downer. I am an optimist by nature and will remain so until I breath my last breathe. I am a realist as well, and can see the writing on the wall. One thing affects another. This is global, and has been in the making since the first of the last century, or, if we are honest, since the monetary system was put into place. Christ is our Hope and we have a part to play. We live in a different world, a different era and it is indeed time to be THE Church and forget the “our four and no more” mentality and reach out to our fellow human, and give them the dignity, respect and the help they so desperately need.