Monthly Archives: January 2014
A homeless man burst into tears when I said, “It is an honor to serve you, sir!”
It was an honor to serve him and the other men and women at the shelter.
If you are a person of faith, any faith, you know this already.
My church has put on a New Year’s Eve party at the shelter for 20 years. I have been privileged to be part of it for the last 4 years.
I always staff the “bun station”. My church provides “sloppy joes” as part of the party. I put hamburger buns on plates and add a packet of plastic silverware. I hand them to the residents with a loving “God bless you, sir” or “God bless you ma’am”.
I receive so many blessings in return. Explicit and implicit. Some of the men and women I served last night were psychotic. They couldn’t process my words. But their spirits did.
Before this, from 2002-2008, I worked with homeless mentally ill persons in downtown Dallas every Tuesday and Thursday.
On Thursday nights I did a clinic at Austin Street Centre starting at 5 p.m. If it were raining or cold, the shelter would be full and I might work until 10 p.m. If the weather were more pleasant, the homeless would choose to sleep outside and there were fewer patients for me to see.
I loved working with the homeless.
I miss it very much.
There are no atheists in a homeless shelter. There is little pretense.
The homeless have one goal: to get their lives back.
Did you know that 15% of the homeless living in shelters go to work every day? The minimum wage does not allow for luxuries like housing and medical insurance.
Mother Teresa said that the US was the most poverty stricken nation in the world. Not fiscally, but in the poverty of neglect of humans.
Is there someone who you can call today and say that you love them or are thinking of them?
Pick up the phone right now.
Reach out and touch someone.
It will bless you incredibly.
Do you know the Legend of the Starfish?
A woman is walking along the shore at low tide. She picks up every stranded starfish she sees and throws it back into the sea. A man is walking along the shore inthe opposite direction. He comes along side of her and asks her what she is doing.
He scoffs at her answer.
“You cannot save them all,” he says, “it doesn’t matter”.
She looks into his eyes and then throws the starfish in her hand back into deep water.
“It matters to that one,” she replies.
Is there someone in your life who you can serve today with a phone call?
It will matter to that one.