Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Some Lessons I Learned From The Homeless

1. God will provide to anyone who asks Him for help

2. Money isn’t necessary, meeting our needs are—and these two things are almost never the same

3. We all have mental weaknesses, and to be a benefit to others, we have to recognize those weaknesses and find ways to sidestep them.

4. We ignore social rules when we feel we need something. Thus, it is better to determine to lessen our list of “needs”

5. When we are too busy, we don’t have time to do what God wants of us

6. Our society requires too much of us for basic necessities. On minimum wage, 40 hours of work a week isn’t enough for a place to live, food and toiletries. For some, it is better to live on the street rather than be enslaved to impoverished employment.

7. There are basic needs we should provide for everyone, no matter how bad they are: food, water, clothing, basic hygiene, a place to go to the bathroom, basic shelter, protection from extreme weather. If we have the ability to provide these needs, yet fail in this, whether the one in need is good or evil, lazy or hard-working, crazy or sane, loving or bitter, then we, who are in authority, are the worst people who have ever lived.

8. We can make excuses to torture people, if we think they are “bad” enough. We will think it is okay to steal people’s possessions, to take away their sleep, to starve them, to take away their meager shelter, to deprive them of their sanity, to make them fear for their lives, simply because they live a lifestyle that we consider inappropriate.

9. An authoritative moral cop with the ability to punish is bad for any society. They end up punishing not only criminals, but anyone who is feared, even if there is nothing to fear.

10. No one is an island—we all need others. Those without others go insane.

11. Everyone works to meet their needs. Some work in a job. Some recycle cans. Some walk long distances and stand in lines for disability or a free meal. Some hold a sign in poor weather conditions for handouts. The real question is: what work does God have in store for us?

12. Shelter or food or clothing is not the most basic need. Faithful companionship is.

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