Jesus Was A Homeless Guy

Homeless_womanLast Friday, I stopped at a convenience store to pick something up on the way home from work. All along the side of the building were homeless people, their worldly possessions in bags strung about their feet, their pets looking as gloomy as they did. What made this incident stand out in my mind was the presence of a small baby. She was in a beat up stroller, and the mother was doing her best to comfort her cries. It was a horrible sight.

Living and working in the area of Tulsa that I do, homeless people are in abundance. For some of them, it is fairly easy to determine how they came about to be in this position. Mental illness and drug addiction are by far the culprits for most of them. A smaller number of them, though, have the look of shock that accompanies a down turn in fortune that was not expected. Divorce, abandonment, and unemployment has struck them, and their eyes tell a story of the devastation of a soul soaked in poverty and burning dimly with hopelessness. .

The staffing agency I work for is located on the bad side of town. It probably comes as no surprise that this kind of business normally attracts to it workers from the neighborhoods around it. Several of the major staffing agencies we compete with recently moved their offices to better neighborhoods. This is an understandable decision, from a business point of view. However, one of the things that makes me so grateful to work where I do is the owner’s refusal to do the same. We’d probably make more money if we moved, but a huge chunk of our workers would be unable to follow us, as we put a big percentage of Tulsa’s homeless to work through our work-today, get-paid-today department. Each morning, I walk through a large mass of people boarding buses and vans, ready to put in a hard days’ work to buy themselves food and shelter. Yes, I’m sure many of them will probably buy drugs or alcohol as well. I simply don’t care. Until you’ve experienced the fear of having no place to go home to, you cannot fault others for the methods they use to cope.

This morning I read an article on a site that really pissed me off. It was written by a Christian pastor homeless.jpg-thumbexplaining his opinion that people who are poor are reaping the seeds of irresponsibility and poor decisions, and the Church is not expected to physically care for them; only to preach the Good News so their souls would not be impoverished. I’m not putting a link to it because I refuse to help that writer get any attention whatsoever. What a self-serving, bullshit lie!!! (I will send him a link to mine privately so he can respond if he wants to. What a schmuck!)

It may come as a big surprise to a lot of present day Christians, but Jesus was homeless. He had no house to call his own. He depended on the believers in each city for food, shelter, and company as he traveled. Was Jesus reaping the harvest His seeds of irresponsibility and bad decisions had netted for himself? Uh. No. He told us, what you do to the least of these, you do to me.

News Flash: The Example we are to emulate was a homeless guy.

I have always had a soft spot in my heart for the impoverished souls of this world. Nothing fills me with more joy in the Lord than to see the hopeless, ashamed look in a person’s eyes replaced by a little dignity and optimism. I truly couldn’t possibly care less how a person’s decisions and actions had brought them to this low point in their lives. Drugs? Don’t care. Booze? Don’t care. Crime? Don’t care.

homeless1If each one of us were to get what we truly deserve in this life, without God’s merciful grace to temper it, we all would be homeless and hungry. Nothing….nothing!! you or I do in secret is missed by God, and I doubt we’d have even one person left on earth if God allowed us all to reap only the harvests we sow in our own lives every day. We were told that we will reap the same amount of mercy from this life that we’ve shown to others. Why are so many of us harsh with Christian churches these days? Could it be because they are showing so very little mercy to anyone else?

I watch several of this city’s mega-churches build youth centers and hold fund-raisers to send missionaries to places abroad, and I instantly dislike them. I know the poor will always be with us. Jesus never instructed us to fix this problem, only to feed the poor, and take care of the orphans and widows. Somehow, churches today have decided that throwing good money at people who might never be able to get their act together enough to get a house with utilities on and a car in the driveway, or God forbid, tithe,  is just a waste of money. By having this attitude, they have missed a very valuable lesson we learn from our poor people. We learn how to administer grace, like the grace we ourselves receive from the Lord.

Grace. Giving something away to those who have not earned it, and expecting nothing in return. We want a return on our kindness, and that defeats the purpose of our mission to help the poor.  A good percentage of these people will remain homeless until they die. That is just the sad fact about people who can’t cope with what life has offered them, and it was never our place to judge them, or to change them. We are only to serve them and to share with them the true Author of our good works. That is all.

I believe we are only going to be able to address the poverty of these souls,  if we first try to Latern_Homeless_Shelterease some of the physical distress these people are in. Handing a cute cartoon booklet to a guy who is wearing the only clothes he owns is stupid and worthless, and frankly insulting to everyone involved.

Maybe it makes the church feel all warm and fuzzy thinking they’ve done their part to draw in the harvest, but the fall-out to Christianity’s reputation from that particular exercise feels bitter to me.

What does that man or woman think about a God whose followers handed them a pamphlet and not a little food? I just want to scream, “Hey, Members of the Elite Clubs of God. If you aren’t going to help the Christians who are working on the front lines of this war for souls, at least don’t make things worse!”

I work with an exceptionally empathetic set of people who daily treat those people society deems less valuable than the rest of us with dignity, respect, and just the right amount of tough love. Make no mistake, you simply must have a heart for the poor to work in the part of this city that we do. It is dangerous, and we are constantly reminded of that.

A lot of my co-workers are Christians like myself, but a number of them are not as far as I can tell. And yet, I often see these “unsaved” people acting more Christ-like than a lot of the church members I know. We all, saved and unsaved alike, work hard to find some way to help those less fortunate than us. Time after time, I see mercy poured out on people who my finite amount of mercy and compassion would have long been finished with. Yet, their wells of compassion, mercy and kindness seem to go so much deeper than mine.

I am both shamed and reminded of just how much mercy my own life requires from God daily, and even more beautiful, how He often uses those people to instruct me who the church refuses to accept among their ranks, like the homosexuals and the drug addicts.

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I would emphasize for everyone today, we are going to be judged by the amount of mercy we’ve shown others.

What you do to the least of these is what you are doing to Jesus, as well. We all will reap what we have sown, and all the stupid sermons in the world about how we can act in whatever manner we see fit with only the loss of some vague reward system in the sky as our only consequence is just plain stupid. The child that the Lord loves, He disciplines. I get my proverbial butt spanked all the time. Do you?

Remember that next time you pointedly refuse to look at the shaky, dirty man holding up his cardboard sign at an intersection. I hope you feel ashamed when you find yourself justifying your lack of giving by deciding he looks healthy enough to get a job, or his obvious addiction has landed him where he is, and as such, he isn’t your problem. Obviously, he’s reaping what he sowed.

He is your problem. He is my problem. His poverty, and what he did right or wrong that lead up to that moment, is not our problem.

We are told to give until it hurts weekly by our church management when they collect tithes. Where is that same consistency and urgence when it comes to helping our fellow man? Do you give to others enough to have some impact on your own life? If you don’t, you should.

People were made in the image of God, and this includes those who have slipped so far down the social ladder, they’ve become homeless. Their worth is no greater, nor is it less than, anyone else’s in the Lord’s eyes. How we treat those less fortunate will be seen by the Lord.

His love and mercy is poured out on those very souls who deserve it the least but will value it the most. We’d better do the same, or we have no right to call Him our father.

~ Bird

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Author: Catherine aka "Bird"

Marketing Specialist Recruiter Freelance Writer Blogger

66 thoughts on “Jesus Was A Homeless Guy”

    1. Neither am I, Wally. I’m constantly reminded of just how good the Lord is by just how crappy I am. What a testimony to His power to use those vessels that are the weakest!! We throw around phrases like serving the Lord or feeding the poor, but have we really ever done that for real in our daily lives? It probably would do us all a little good to take a step back and inventory our realities these days. The end is coming….are any of us really ready?

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  1. Right on!! I often tell people; whether rich or poor, smart or dumb, we all dress alike, putting our pants on one leg at a time! There but for the grace of God go I…

    I’ve only written one blog about the homeless, but hope to again. People are too quick to judge…especially Christians, God love ’em!

    http://voiceofrestoration.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/tent-city-an-evening-with-the-homeless/

    Thank you for your heart!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good piece, Bird. I must say though, there will be no homosexuals in heaven. God is giving people space to repent. If we don’t speak out against homosexuality, then, when they are judged, we will be judged with them.

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    1. There will be no sex in heaven, period – homosexual or otherwise. It is a mistake to assume that there is a rank to sins in God’s eyes. Sin is just sin to Him, and little white lies are no greater nor lesser compared to murder. People tend to think that because the consequences for these sins are so different, somehow God also views them this way. No. He does not.

      I am a Christian. If I go next door and shoot my neighbor, will God forgive me? Yes. Do I lose my salvation for doing something so awful? No. God forgave all my sins — past, present, and future when I asked Him into my heart. That being said, does that mean I don’t have to go to prison? No. That is the consequence my action brought down on myself. That is what I reaped because of what I sowed. I am still saved. Things in this life are going to get real now that I’m off to prison, though.

      Homosexuality is not allowed, and if a Christian is mature enough in the Lord, it is easy to understand why this particular thing is not allowed. That being said, is their sin any great or lesser than any of ours? Nope. Their consequences may be harder for gay people in this life, and the bible says, that sin is a hard one to ever truly remove completely from their flesh, but He absolutely did not say they could not be saved, or that we were not to extend to them the same mercy, compassion, and grace we offer to anyone else struggling in sin. We were not given a list of exceptions to our mandate to judge no one.

      People who have not been saved are only guilty of one sin — not accepting Jesus’s gift of salvation. That is all I see when I interact with people, gay or otherwise. I see people Jesus loved enough to die for, and their sins are between them and their maker. A life turned over to God will be transformed according to His good timing, and just because we Christians assume the sexual sins are first on His list, doesn’t make it true. Wouldn’t the Lord set more reasonable goals for His new child than to swiftly force this infant Christian to deal with something so complex and difficult? The church has missed the boat when it comes to the gays, the addicts, and pretty much every other group that is struggling with the sins that are harder to hide.
      Not.Cool.

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      1. When I say no homosexuals in heaven I trust you know what I mean. Some sins are abominations and worse than little white lies. I know, for I committed adultery by having an online affair and without Gods mercy and grace I would still be in the pit. He punished me for it too. I am no better than anyone. I simply said we need to speak up and tell people to repent for the kingdom is nigh. Myself first. I don’t look down on anyone. The word actually says, for the church to judge fellow believers and if they repent, forgive them.

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        1. I know that there will be no sin whatsoever in heaven, abominations or otherwise. I do not believe at all that some sins are worse than others, when it comes to God’s viewpoint. Here on earth, the consequences are very different, and that is what people use to assume God is less offended by some sins and more offended by others. I’m not coming down on you, so I hope you don’t misinterpret my tone. You believe in a stance that has been taught by churches, but is not in line with the Word of God. Jesus reserved the right to be the only judge, and when we overstep our authority, we get into troubles like these.

          The more mature I become in the Lord, the greater my consequences become when I disobery the Lord. What some people consider stupid little stuff, the Holy Spirit deals with me a little more strictly. He does this because He is fully aware of my level of understanding, and my ability to obey Him. Because of His supernatural ability to know every single thing about a person, He is naturally the only Person qualified to judge. He tells us not to be judgmental towards other people for this very reason.

          Do I believe homosexuality is a sin? Yes. Do I believe God hates gay people? No. I do not.

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          1. 1 Cor 5
            I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister[c] but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

            12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”

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            1. I see where our breakdown in communication has happened. You are referring to fornicators, theives, envious people, and people who put things above God IN THE CHURCH. I think you misunderstood, I was speaking of gay people who are not Christians.

              In your scripture above, the writer specifically says, we can not refuse to be among these sorts of people for how would remove ourselves from this world? He goes on to say, if there are Christians, brothers or sisters, who are doing these sorts of sins in the church, then we are to stay away from them.

              I can say with complete honesty, I am always more disgusted and appalled by a Christian doing something vile, wicked, mean-hearted, or just plain selfish than I am of the acts of the worst unsaved person I know. I abhor anything, including my own behaviors, that give people watching us a poor opinion of the Lord who saved me.

              However. You are still incorrect about the rankings of sins. And that scripture, translated correctly, makes no mention of homosexuality specifically. Those people who cheat on spouses, sleep outside of wedlock, watch pornography, lust after people in their minds….they are on equal footing when it comes to sins, right? And that doesn’t include the rest of the verse that says theives, envious people, swindlers, etc. are right there in the bullseye of who the author is targeting. I believe by trying to elevate any sin to a higher or lower place of importance is always twisting of the truth.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. “Or know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with men,

                10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

                11 And such were some of you: but ye were washed, but ye were sanctified, but ye were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

                And this is what I live my life by:

                13 But go ye and learn what this meaneth, I desire mercy, and not sacrifice, for I came not to call the righteous, but sinners. Matthew 9:13

                Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, that article is terrible! No one knows a homeless person’s story. It might be due to drug and alcohol addiction, but it might not be. It’s not our place to judge people, only to help them. It amazes me that someone, especially some who calls themselves a Christian, would say such horrible things. They might not want to give the homeless person money, but they could buy them a dinner, a jacket, new boots, or even offer some shelter. Unbelievable.

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  4. Such an amazing post! I have never lived in the city until recently, and have never encountered the homeless. I always thought there was more help out there for them. It breaks my heart. This is a powerful post, I hope people respond to it!

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  5. I did a post quite a while ago on the homeless, because like you I don’t believe we should judge why they are there…. Whatever it was it was a crisis of some kind… whatever it is we are called to love, and if that only means giving them some small amount of cash .. for them to determine how they will spend it, then so be it. None of us deserves the good in our life or the bad in our life.. it just is… and there is always the grace of Christ for us all… should we choose to accept it… Diane

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  6. I wanted to reply to your blog in several ways, all of them positive, but words sometimes escape me. This often comes when I read what I believe to be the real truth. God doesn’t punish the weak or the poor or the mentally challenged. God lets the story play out itself, letting you know he (or is it she? or both?) are always there for you. Too bad so many people are so closed they don’t ever get that truth. Thanks for the reminder.

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  7. This is so brilliant, thank you:
    “If each one of us were to get what we truly deserve in this life, without God’s merciful grace to temper it, we all would be homeless and hungry. Nothing….nothing!! you or I do in secret is missed by God, and I doubt we’d have even one person left on earth if God allowed us all to reap only the harvests we sow in our own lives every day. ”

    Churches do this, but so do individuals, including so many of the uber blessed people around me who have no tolerance for adversity of any kind. They’re on a race to perfection, and when you treat yourself so unkindly, you can not have any mercy for others with bigger problems.

    Thank you so much for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m no better than anyone else and God has specifically told us it is not our place to judge! “Christians” like that make the rest of us look bad. We live in Phoenix and see homeless people everyday. My daughter never carries cash but they wanted to do something so they started making care packages. The packages have water, food, deodorant, tooth paste/brush and other things. They carry the stuff around in the car everyday to hand out. It’s a great example for my granddaughters!

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  9. For seven years I’ve facilitated a writing group of men and women who are experiencing homelessness. I went to it as a writer; I’d never done anything like that before. The experience taught me that whatever happened to someone to take them into homelessness, it could have happened to me. To assume that someone who is homeless has no love of God or doesn’t know Jesus and must need a pamphlet to save their souls is blindness. The faith I have encountered among the homeless puts mine to shame. Thank you for this post.

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  10. In my last several years of work, I did medical case management for the indigent of Orange County, California. One of the richest counties in California, and the indigent and homeless situation there is a crime. I’m really glad to read your post about this so called Christian pastor..makes me want to scream! Great post.

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  11. Wow! Sis you, through the eyes and heart of God, made me tear up this morning. I feel bad that I missed this when you first posted….I’ve been away for a bit. If this were a speech I for one would give a standing ovation. Powerful!

    Would you send me a link to the post that got you pumped up…say on twitter or email? I think he needs a spanking in a nice way.

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  12. Reblogged this on Something to Stu (stew) Over and commented:
    Everyone STOP what you are doing!!!

    This could be one of the most important blogs you will read all year. If I could vote this as the best blog of the year I would. It is heart felt, written with passion and the truth.

    We, as the church, have missed the mark on so much. With more and more people becoming homeless due to whatever reason we need to step up to the plate and do as Christ would. I love this statement from Catherine “I believe we are only going to be able to address the poverty of these souls, if we first try to ease some of the physical distress these people are in. Handing a cute cartoon booklet to a guy who is wearing the only clothes he owns is stupid and worthless, and frankly insulting to everyone involved.

    Maybe it makes the church feel all warm and fuzzy thinking they’ve done their part to draw in the harvest, but the fall-out to Christianity’s reputation from that particular exercise feels bitter to me.

    What does that man or woman think about a God whose followers handed them a pamphlet and not a little food? I just want to scream, “Hey, Members of the Elite Clubs of God. If you aren’t going to help the Christians who are working on the front lines of this war for souls, at least don’t make things worse!”

    The blight of the homeless is real and it does NOT matter how they got there. What DOES matter is how we help them.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Well written! I, personally, think that God’s mercy is much greater than His judgement and that we will be forgiven for not helping. But I also think that the greatest commandment ever given is to ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ and that this includes all God’s people and all of creation, most especially ‘the least of these.’ Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Amen sister! It makes me so sad to hear about leaders in the church who just brush off the homeless, addicted and imprisoned. Like you said…that attitude is the absolute opposite of what Jesus taught us. Those who have that mind set must fall in the camp of Job’s friends who said that he must have done something terrible to be in the horrible situation he was in.
    There are churches out there who do good work. Unfortunately, many of them don’t have the following or budget of the “mega churches”. All the more reason to seek them out and support them.
    Sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Everyone has pretty much said what’s already in my heart. Funny, how my son and I had already decided to start carrying “love packages” in the car when we go out. We moved from a little town a few miles north of Bartlesville, OK, Where we are living now, in a little town in the Southwest desert, in the most poverty stricken county in New Mexico, there is no homeless shelter, and the resources for the homeless are basically non existent. This is miles from a town of any size where the homeless, or those in financial distress might find help. In the summer, the heat is brutal. I have seen comments on the local Topix forum about the “bums” sitting on the Walmart corner. and this really gets me, because one just doesn’t know how or why someone is in that position. It could be a guy who has lost his job, and got kicked out of a rental, or it could be a mom who’s husband beat the daylights out of her, and/or abandoned her and a couple of kids. You just don’t know. But one thing I’m pretty sure of is that the majority of these, humbling themselves and asking for help, don’t have a Mercedes hidden around the corner. My feeling is that the churches should and could easily provide a shelter and help for these folks IF they’d just do it. Quite often it’s the “unchurched” folks, and the “been there’s” that reach out in compassion showing forth the love of Jesus.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I agree with this 110%. It saddens me when I’ve seen churches spend literally hundreds of thousands of dollars on fancy high tech sound boards and electronics that were not essential. I believe institutional churches these days are mostly apostate.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I have a son who, this past year, has been on and off the streets as he struggles with his addictions and life issues. I am extremely grateful for people like yourself who look at the homeless through eyes of compassion.

    Liked by 1 person

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