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Give Me That Homeless Child

Barefoot shoeshine boy.  Liverpool, England.  c.1910

This evening, standing in line ready to buy groceries, I saw a young mom holding a 18 month old boy. He kept looking at me…so I made a funny face. At first, he was timid, but eventual waved and smile. I went to him and he reached out for a hug…so with mom’s permission, I held him and he embraced me tightly. He put his head on my shoulders and actually fell asleep till his mom and grandmother left the store.

His name was Dej-uan and he was as cute as a button.

Then I hear that there are some kids who are hungry, and nobody wants to take care of them. They are homeless, and nobody wants to take them in. They are foreigners and nobody is willing to welcome them.
Forget the politics…let’s just ask the human question: If there is a hungry baby who may well die unless you take action, what do you do?

That’s easy…you embrace them and take care of them. Isaiah 58 says:

“Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free And break every yoke? “Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry And bring the homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, to cover him; And not to hide yourself from your own flesh? “Then your light will break out like the dawn, And your recovery will speedily spring forth; And your righteousness will go before you…”

Sure, give me one of those unknown babies. I will take them in my arms, embrace them, and take care of them.

I’ll take as many as I can…and we are exploring such options now.

When Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you,” he was quoting the Hebrew scriptures as a Rabbi would. The verse quoted would bring to mind the entire chapter and context (he does the same thing when he quotes scripture, saying: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me!” – which when we read the context, we know that the Father had not forsaken him.

In context, Jesus quote Duet 15:11 – “For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’”

Jesus words were not an excuse to not help, but because there will always be poor, never refrain from helping.

When we read things out of context…or make them so “spiritual” that there is nothing practical, then we end up excusing basic poor behavior. This is a simple instructions in basic human decency and compassion. These are not rules or else. They are not legalism. Neither are they spiritual words about the “poor in spirit.”

It’s simple: If somebody is hungry, fed um. If they are homeless, get them shelter. To quote more scripture from the NT:

James 2: 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

I john 3:16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

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