Have you seen a homeless person? How do you see them? What is your response every time you see them on the streets? Do you do something for them? Or do you just keep on walking by…
Homeless people are outcasts in society. Due to varying reasons, they suffer from extreme poverty and can’t provide food and shelter for themselves. But regardless of their condition, or how they got to be homeless, is it right to treat these people lesser than other human beings?
According to UK homelessness charity, Crisis, a homeless person means not only not having a home but also not having a physical space—roots, identity, security, and a sense of belonging and a place of emotional well-being.
The world can instill lot ideas in us about what a homeless person is but still, the heart of God towards them is what really matters.
In 1 John 3:17 it says, “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?”
Also, in Proverbs 14:31 it says “Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.”
God is clear about His heart for homeless people and that is to treat them with kindness. Perhaps this church in Kingsport, Tennessee understands this heart of God more than most.
The Shades of Grace United Methodist Church in Tennessee founded a ministry just for serving the needs of the homeless. In fact, more than half of their congregation who come to worship on Sundays, are homeless. 70% of the churchgoers live in poverty or on the streets.
The Shades of Grace volunteers provide food, shoes, clothes, and more for these people. The church also provides a vital service to restoring the dignity of the person in offering a safe place to come take a shower.
One person testified, “They look at you as someone that’s sick that needs help, not someone that’s a burden to society.”
As followers of Christ, this is how it should be. Imagine if every Christian would care for them just as Jesus modeled it in the Bible and put aside every discrimination. The world will surely be filled with His love and He will be glorified!
This article was written by Christel Berns Villariza.