Give a little bit of your time to me
See the man with the lonely eyes
Oh, take his hand, you’ll be surprised
I was reminded of these lyrics from the old Supertramp song this past week as i talked to a member of our local homeless population.
Eugene had camped out somewhere near Journey Church last weekend. I found him sitting propped up against his bedroll warming himself in the Sunday morning sun. I offered him a sausage biscuit and asked him how he was doing. Not being the bashful type Eugene said things were rough and he had slept outdoors over night and he could sure use a cold Coca-Cola to go with his biscuit. i went next door and retrieved his beverage of choice and sat down in the sun sharing breakfast with him. Eugene began to tell me his story. He is 75 years old, originally from Jackson county Tennessee and has been living on the street for ten years. He camps out in the woods in the Hixson area and tends to move around quite a bit to avoid raising the ire of the local police force. As I mentioned earlier Eugene isn’t the shy type and in just a few minutes his personality starting to shine through as he began to tell jokes and ask me riddles, none of which I guessed correctly. Im here to tell you Eugene should have his own realty show. He is both warm and witty. I invited Eugene to come hang out with us at church but he wasn’t very interested. i told him if he ever changed his mind he was always welcome especially on a cold or rainy morning.
I didn’t lead Eugene to the Lord nor did I get him to even set foot in church but i did obey what scripture says to do concerning the poor in our community:
And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” Luke 3:11 (ESV)
For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’ Deuteronomy 15:11 (ESV)
if you pour yourself out for the hungry
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
and your gloom be as the noonday. Isaiah 58:10 (ESV)
It is very easy to become jaded while trying to serve the less fortunate, addicts, homeless, etc in our community, especially when we don’t see the spiritual results that we desire. When trying to help others i think these are some great ideas that I saw a friend of mine post on Facebook this week:
1. Most times you want to help the people get back on their feet much more than they actually want to get back on their feet.
2. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.
3. Many people are just playing a game on you.
4. Do what you can do but nothing else no matter how hard they guilt and try and manipulate you.
Don’t give up when people fail to respond the way that you would like for them to. Remember everyone is deserving of our love because God loves them. Sometimes that love can be shown by giving a little bit.