Nowhere to go
Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
Matthew 8:20 (NIV)
In 2019/20 in London, 10,726 people were recorded as having slept rough. This data, from the Greater London Authority’s Chain database, tracks rough sleepers in London seen by outreach workers. The figure is 21% higher than the previous year and 170% higher than in 2010/11 (3,975 people).
We have recently had a night of freezing temperatures. Our heating bills have escalated, and we complain. As we leave the supermarket, struggling with our loaded trolleys of groceries, we see the homeless person with his cup asking for change. He is moved on by authorities; society does not want to contemplate the homeless.
Honourable charities labour to help the homeless in our nation and we can support them, but it is an uphill task. Jesus said he had no place to lay his head (Matthew 8:20). He understood the plight of those having no roof over their head. The apostle Paul at times was homeless. In 1 Corinthians 4:11 he writes, ‘To this very hour we have gone hungry and thirsty, without even enough clothes to keep us warm. We have been kicked around without homes of our own.’ (Living Bible).
As we live in our comfortable homes, we can be oblivious to the fact that we are all vulnerable to being homeless, prompted by a loss of income through health issues or redundancy. Do we have compassion on those who have nowhere to go?
Paul wrote to the Colossians, ‘Since you have been chosen by God who has given you this new kind of life, and because of his deep love and concern for you, you should practice tenderhearted mercy and kindness to others. Don’t worry about making a good impression on them, but be ready to suffer quietly and patiently.’ Colossians 3:12 (Living Bible)
Attitudes need to change over homelessness, compassion is just the start – let it begin with God’s children!
Loving Father, we thank you for our blessings and humbly ask for a heart for those who are in need, show us how we can help and thus demonstrate your love to our fellow man. Amen
Study by Irene Wilson
About the writer:
Irene Wilson is a Deaconess in the Watford congregation of Grace Communion International, where she also serves on the Pastoral Council.
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