I pass by people every day when I'm downtown who I know don't have anything. They sleep under the overpasses. Some are mentally unstable, others have substance abuse issues. Many have been released from prison with nowhere to go.  Others have been evicted because of a job loss, and seek shelter in places no human being should ever be forced to go. For many,  homelessness is not just physical, but psychological as well.

When I think about homelessness and what that really means, it is almost incomprehensible. Just think how much you enjoy life's simple pleasures: taking a bath, using a bathroom, sleeping in a bed, getting food from a refrigerator, adjusting the temperature in your home or office, sitting on a couch or chair, or just writing this message on a computer or smartphone. Then imagine all of that being taken from you, along with any other resources and any means of transportation other than your two feet. WOW!! It makes me bow down and thank GOD for HIS grace and mercy toward me. 

I know many don't, but I choose to give money to homeless people and try to acknowledge their existence on this planet. Yes, scam artists are included among the homeless, a despicable act for those feigning hard circumstances to get money. If they have to reduce themselves to begging, that speaks to a need that money can't provide. But as for the truly homeless, I can't begin to know what it's like not having a home to go to or to be treated as though you're invisible every day. I have learned from them, learned to appreciate them and their struggles just to survive. Some of their stories would bring most of us to tears. Homelessness in cities full of boarded vacant houses is ridiculous. Our failure to provide adequate care for our military veterans in particular is a national disgrace which echoes our acute indifference and the callousness of our political leadership.

The poor are a reminder of how we look to GOD, but that doesn't stop HIM from ministering to us or loving us with a perfect love. Yes, we are our brother's keeper.  If we open our eyes, our hearts and yes, our wallets, we can begin to reverse the blight that surges through our towns and cities like a tsunami as a result of decades of despair, hopelessness and pain . Money and resources are critical, but unless we address the root causes of their desperation, nothing will change!

That is why my ministry walk has to always be in a continual state of change and growth. I am determined to go forward. My ministry will continue to include reaching out and ministering to the broken, the disaffected, the hungry, the lost, the disillusioned, the hurting and the overlooked. I am just looking for a few more who like JESUS and don't mind getting their hands dirty and don't care about what others might think. As people of GOD, we should be more intentional toward helping homeless people address their needs instead of building these magnificent structures that boast overflowing pews, but only a few worshippers truly connected to HIM! We will accomplish so much more when we utilize all compassion, power, resources and creativity that we have in our grasp. 

 

 

Kevin Hatcher

Kevin Hatcher