When the Homeless Do the Helping

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If you think the homeless are helpless, you might be surprised to learn that it is not uncommon for the homeless to do the helping.

“I helped two people recently,” a homeless woman shared with me not long ago. Up against numerous health challenges, and despite an incredibly rough past, so much so that she needed my help to get her free hot lunch over to a park bench where she sat as she neared her next hospital visit later that day, the homeless woman shared with me about her belief in the Lord and told me joyfully how sharing her hard-to-hear testimony had touched two lives recently. And she related happily about her Bible studies and hope to get involved in ministry.

A big-hearted pastor drives straight from preaching at his church on Sundays
to preach in the park to the homeless, others in extreme need, volunteers, and passersby.
When he is not preaching, he is usually found picking up trash when lunch is served. 

Another homeless man at an outreach I attend helps weekly with the physical setup for the food, clothing, and toiletries distribution, while another not-too-long-ago homeless man helps with security. Another homeless man told me recently he was praying for me. Another formerly homeless man preaches. Still other homeless men and women minister to me by asking how I am, listening to me share about my own life, and sharing hugs and friendship and love and kindness – sometimes more than I receive in my usual day to day life. Even in the midst of their hardships, the homeless and others in extreme need are sometimes the helpers despite the common belief that they are a segment of the population that is only on the receiving end of God’s provision as it is distributed by those who serve in one capacity or another. But then, we are ALL on the receiving end of God’s goodness, aren’t we? Anything good, and necessary, that we have comes from Him in the first place.

The Bible says God is no respecter of persons, and that we are not supposed to be either. We are not supposed to look down our noses at those in need, nor are we to judge others. But how often, if we are honest with ourselves, do we find ourselves doing just that? Sometimes it takes a little wake-up call to remember that we are called to be humble, not prideful, and grateful rather than taking for granted what we have. And sometimes that wake-up call comes in the form of realizing those we thought we are called to help end up being the ones to bless us instead. Or, most accurately, we find that we really are all in this together – all called to love one another, to serve one another, all as we love and serve the Creator of us all. The Lord.

My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. 2For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; 3And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: 4Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? 5Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? 6But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? 7Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?
8If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: 9But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. James 2:1-9 KJV

And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. James 23:12 KJV

Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. James 14:4 KJV
Please visit Walk by Faith Ministry at https://www.walkbyfaithministry.com.

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