Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Last Friday I went to Chicago with two of my favorite people in the world. As we walked through the streets we passed numerous homeless people begging for money. Each and every time, my heart would break for them. How can one's life take such a turn against them that they end up on the streets? It's so typical for us to make judgements against these people. Why are they sitting there begging and not looking for a job? Why should I feel bad, they're probably a druggie, they did it to themselves, right? But really, who are we to judge? I mean sure some of them may have drug addictions. But there is no way to know for sure without talking to them. And they may have exhausted all their options with jobs or not have the ability to work. Do you understand how much utter humility it takes to admit that you can no longer make it on your own and subject yourself to the stares of everyone passing on the street assuming things about you that may or may not be true? And if they had someone in their life who was willing and able to care for them do you think they'd be there? There are so many things that could happen to land someone with out a home. Estranged relatives. Mental/physical disabilities. Bad luck. There may not be a clear reason even, somehow they're life just took a turn for the worse and they lost what they once had. While we were eating dinner in Chicago, I noticed a man in his sleeping bag right outside Subway, just laying on the sidewalk. As I watched him I noticed he was smoking a cigarette. And I could feel myself right away judging him. If he could buy a pack of cigarettes why could he not buy himself some food, or save up for something? But the more I thought about it, the more I sympathized with him. If I was living on the street, spending my days avoiding the stares, and yet wishing that just one person would treat me like a human again. Begging for money but also inside begging for someone to care. With no one to love or be loved by, and finding that for just a little while with that cigarette or that drink I could forget everything and be happy again, I can't say I wouldn't do the same thing. Who's to say that they don't use that drug as an alternative to the love we reject them everytime we walk by with out a word, or a smile, or just looking them in the eye? Is that really so much to ask?! Jesus loved the unlovable and touched the untouchable. I pray that someday we all learn to do the same. It could just change the world.