During Thanksgiving dinner, as daddy sat at the head of the table surrounded by my siblings, in-laws, grandkids, great-grands, and an array of absolutely scrumptious food, I reflected on the blessings of the Lord. The kitchen is truly the heart of the home. My parents provided religious guidance, and we were exposed to Christian teachings. I appreciate my upbringing. Indeed, home is where the heart is. And I thought about the homeless – those who have no place to call home.
My extended family’s Christmas traditions include feeding warm meals to the homeless (not a selfie session), donating canned food to a food pantry and singing at a nursing home. These acts of community service help us to stay focused and grounded and to avoid the commercialization of Christmas.
So, it is a privilege to serve the homeless, and we greet them with love (I Corinthians 13:4) and the gospel (Matthew 11:5). We hope that the warm meals will be symbolic of a new beginning and an open door that is close by.
But what if you don’t have a home? Or your home is under a bridge? I just think that everybody should have reliable shelter and access to nutritious food and fresh water. We need to strengthen our brother (Luke 22:32). Perhaps an individual is faced with substance abuse, poverty or unemployment. And Lord, what about the children?
Or maybe, for example, parents are working hard, have a home, but have trouble feeding the kids — food insufficiencies and other inadequacies. I just think that there should be less “red tape” in food distribution. First of all, they probably had to break their pride to even ask. Allow them to maintain a sense of dignity and not have to fill out a million papers. Just give them the food. Please. Making food more accessible is a big deal, especially as it relates to starving children (in America?). Who will bring the groceries home?
I believe that homelessness is a low place, but there is hope. It has been stated that the lower you go, the deeper your foundation can be. We may feel like we are at the end, while God may just be getting started.
Hats off to the missions and churches that offer free food and shelter for the homeless. Let’s support these agencies.
Recently, while visiting a Southern city, we witnessed a gentleman eating out of a trashcan and gave him a few dollars. He was appreciative.
Prayer: Lord, thanks for Your grace. In a posture of humility, we shift our focus to helping others. Give us a heart for those who may be feel forsaken. We pray for those who have unstable domestic challenges. Lord, watch over those who carry their belongings in a trashbag and live on the streets. Watch over those who live in cars and abandoned buildings, because they have nowhere else to go. Give them a place to call home.
In Christ’s name and for His sake, amen.
Della Marie Woods Newkirk is an educator and native of Lillington. She can be reached at email@example.com.