While calling on extended stays and convenience stores to let them know about our Under The Bridge event this weekend, I asked one store manager if they had any homeless folks come in to buy food etc. Her response was "We try to keep them out of here".
Not telling you what I wanted to say, but I did ask if she had ever been homeless? I asked that question to our Monday Night Raw group last night and half the room raised their hands. If you haven't been there you may not have the empathy to understand their plight. But Jesus did.
Sure, some choose to stay that way, they feel like outcasts and become rebellious toward any kind of structure. Others are addicted and lost. Still others have been forced out for a variety of reasons and are looking for help. Lets see how Jesus looked at all of these situations.
For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick or in prison and you did not look after me. Matthew 25:42-43
And then added "Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for the least of these, you did not do for me". I don't believe he is saying we should all run out and find these folks, rather, when we find them do help them as if it were for him. God pointed me and ATB toward these folks through a series of events and his Spirit has not let up inside me to help.
For others, helping these people may be outside their comfort zone, but I don't read in those words any qualifications as to who should help. It truly says helping them is helping Him. Yes, it can be messy and uncomfortable, but it can also be the most wonderful thing we ever did. And we do it for Him.
May we always ask ourselves is Jesus welcome here, and are His people, which are those people, welcome too? If so ask another question so popular on that wristband, WWJD, What Would Jesus Do?
Then ask ourselves one more question, what will I do?
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.