by Richelle Hecker
Shine light into the darkness
You can listen to today’s devotion by clicking on this SoundCloud link.
I took this photo, under a bridge, in Colorado Springs. I do not know who lives there, or whether or not they were at home that day. It’s not difficult to find this type of temporary housing all around us. This person is fortunate to have a tent shelter, under a bridge, near the water. Many others are left to sleep wherever they land.
The homeless are all around us. There are panhandlers on many street corners, people pushing shopping carts containing all the belongings they have left, and many others we may not even recognize as homeless. If you’ve had the opportunity to interact with this community then you know there are those who slip by unnoticed.
It is difficult to know what to do, and to make decisions about who and how to help. We make assumptions about addictions and mental health problems that may or may not be true. It feels overwhelming when we grasp the sheer numbers of people living this way. Sometimes we even make judgements about whether or not they deserve to be there.
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter– when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?”
Isaiah 59:6-7 New International Version
It is our impulse when feeling overwhelmed to look away, but this is not what God calls us to do. When we see someone in need, we are not to judge how they got there. We are to help in any way we can. Remember that they are someone’s child, father, mother, sister, or brother and move to reach out with love and hope. God is very specific about what He wants from His children. Don’t turn away from the people in your community in need simply because it feels too hard. Partner with those who are already helping and shine God’s love into the darkness.
Copyright Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, CO