In this particular video there is a homeless man at what looks like some sort of German train station with his few belongings and a bucket. Then one man walks up to him, asks if he can borrow his bucket, and then starts using it as a drum. As he drums away (with skill, I might add) 2 more people come and sit with them. One has a guitar and the both of them sing. Together they make quite the musical trio and play a song about helping humanity. People come and put money in a hat one of them placed in front of the man, the song is finished, the money given to the homeless man, and the three walk off.
But the one thing that made my heart race, nearly brought me to tears, and made me want to race to action in helping this homeless man that hadn't been in any of those other popular "help the homeless" videos? The man looked like he could be an older version of one of my brothers.
The entire time the video was going I was just thinking "Someone help him! Someone do something!" But the thing I realized that made me ashamed and sick to my stomach? That I wouldn't be thinking that if the man hadn't resembled my brother. That I, the Christian woman who tells God every day that she wants to live for Him and be more like Christ, wouldn't show compassion for a homeless man. I am a hypocrite. The worse kind.
Even if that homeless man isn't my family, he is someone's family. Besides, aren't we all brothers and sisters in Christ?
"He replied to him, 'Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?' Pointing to his disciples, he said, 'Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother,'" (Matthew 12:48-50 NIV)
Are we not all called to help our brothers and sisters in need? I think this verse captured the whole situation for me quite nicely (and painfully):
"Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen," (1 John 4:20 NIV)
Some of you may be like me: you see a homeless person begging on the corner of the street but tell yourself that you shouldn't give him any money because he will just go buy alcohol or drugs with it. You know he is probably hungry, but never even think about there being a fast food restaurant nearby or the fact that you just left the grocery store and have a trunk loaded with groceries at your disposal. You just keep driving and tell yourself you did him a favor by not giving him money to further his sin of addictions. Or even worse, the thought of helping him doesn't even cross your mind.
If that was your brother sitting and begging for help, wouldn't you help him?
Hopefully you would do more than just throw him some change, but would take him home with you, feed and clothe him, and help him get back on his feet again. He's family! Your blood. Of course you would!
From now on I refuse to just ignore the homeless man when I know I have the means to do something about it, and I hope you will do the same. I challenge you, and myself, to think "What would I do if that person were my brother or sister,"
Feed them. Take them to a clothing store and buy them a warm coat or pants without holes. Give them the information of your church or a Christian homeless program you know has a good reputation in your area. Pray with them! Tell them God loves them. But don't puke the Bible on to them - speak God's Truth with your actions. If they want to know more about Christ they will ask. Just make them feel Christ's love for them through you and let them know it isn't from you, but from the Lord.
Do you think you are too busy or normally don't have time to do these things for a homeless person (i.e. on your way to work and can't be late)? Then the next time you go grocery shopping buy some food that doesn't expire quickly (crackers, peanut butter, fruit cups) and maybe other items like hand sanitizer or toothbrushes and toothpaste. Package the items in baggies and keep them in your car. Maybe write a note and put it in each one. Then on your busy days you can give that to the man or woman in need instead of doing nothing.
God, help me to be compassionate. Let me see each person with your eyes and then guide me to be your hands and feet to help them. May your Holy Spirit speak through me to those I encounter each day. Forgive me for being such a horrible hypocrite. Thank you for exposing my fault to me and instead of condemning me deciding to gently mold me into someone more like you. You are far better than I. Amen.
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