There is an estimated 800,000 people in the US that are homeless, including 200,000 children. This is not just an US issue, homelessness is a worldwide epidemic, affecting 100 million people. We’ve all seen or been in contact with someone who is homeless—while driving through a busy city, walking down the street and you’re asked for money, or at the local food-drive or overnight shelter.
While many are inclined to be of helping hand, donating money or food, I can’t count how many times I’ve seen some quickly roll up their windows or hurriedly walk pass not making any eye contact. Even though it’s saddening, I can understand having these reactions. You often feel uncomfortable when put in these situations:
- You don’t know who this person is
- We live in hard times, and money means everything in terms to how we survive
But it truly saddens my heart to see the homeless mistreated out of spite and materialism. You don’t know their story or the things that they’ve been through. Yes, many people are homeless because of circumstances that they’ve created (drug habit or alcohol problem), but you don’t know the hardships that contributed to those circumstances. Did you know one in seven homeless people previously served in our military, and are suffering from PTSD. Again, there are 200,000 children in the US who are born into homelessness—they never stood a chance.
Youtuber fouseyTUBE brought attention to homelessness, and their mistreatment, in a very creative way. Check out the video below:
This video brought me to tears. How could people be so careless and self-centered? Since when did success warrant superiority over another human being? Especially seeing that their meanness was in response to an act of kindness. Have we as a society become so concerned with materialistic things, and how people perceive our wealth, that we become offended when someone extends kindness to us? I fully understand not wanting to take money from someone less fortunate, but it is far more amicable to extend that kindness back to them than to become offended and spiteful. According to this video, seems like of our self-esteem, success, and character become wounded under such circumstances.
I encourage you to think before you simply roll up your window or turn a blind eye. For if it had not been for the grace and love of God, where would you be? Homeless? Hebrews 13:16 says, “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” I understand that not all who read this blog are Christian. But I think we can come to an agreement that life circumstances can change in an instant. Houses catch on fire, people lose their jobs, become bankrupt or involved in a car accident everyday…circumstances such as these can all contribute to homelessness. I urge you to show compassion, even if you have no understanding.
I know from experience how much joy giving creates. It feels good knowing that you’ve made a difference in someone’s life; seeing their joy gives you joy. I was once questioned why I gave $20 to a woman outside of a corner store. It was questioned whether or not she would really use the money for something that would benefit her or for drugs. My answer was that it didn’t matter. How am I to know that she didn’t use the money to buy food or medication? At least I gave her the opportunity to do something good for her life. But most importantly, I showed compassion. Compassion that very well could have been the catalyst to changing her life around. I could not leave knowing that I did not do all I could to bless someone’s life. Yes, having money is fantastic, but not at the price of humanity.
So what would you do if a homeless person gave you money? Would you be just as compassionate? How about if you were homeless? Would you hope for such compassion?