Have you ever been homeless? More and more Americans are finding themselves without permanent homes. In my hometown here in Southern Indiana, there are many services for the homeless–shelters, soup kitchens, healthcare. Some are transitioning to the more permanent housing being build. And yet, many homeless people here and in most towns of any size, beg and sleep on the streets. My colleague, Eric Nelson, writing for the July 11, 2016 edition of Communities Digital News, addresses this issue and recommends the kind of prayer that leads to action. Here’s Eric:
The San Francisco Chronicle, along with more than 70 other Bay Area news outlets, joined forces recently to draw attention to the problem of homelessness. “We see the misery around us,” they wrote in an open letter, addressed to the city and people of San Francisco, “and we sense it is worsening.”
As someone who has lived here for more than a decade, I’ve often felt the same. I am heartened, however, whenever I see organizations like these refusing, as they put it, to let such a seemingly intractable situation become the “new normal,” or “to let a desire for the perfect solution become the enemy of the good.” Indeed, it will likely take many solutions – many people and many hands representing many public and private entities, all working together – before we see an end to homelessness.
I’m reminded of the Bible story of the Good Samaritan, a man who took it upon himself to help someone who had been beaten by thieves and left for dead. He did what he could – cleaning and dressing the man’s wounds and so forth – before bringing him to a nearby inn. The next day, he gave the innkeeper some money, saying, “Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.” A simple yet elegant example of two individuals working together using whatever resources they had to help their fellow man….