Read Matthew 25:34-40.
It was the first time we saw Central Baptist Church in Miami, Florida. We had heard of the homeless population of the area and that they were often found sleeping in the doorways of the church. We weren’t prepared for the actuality and truth of that statement, however. Having just returned from the overt poverty that exists in West Africa, we were stunned to see such need on the streets of a wealthy nation.
Our five-year-old son was greatly confused by what he was seeing. He asked what the word homeless meant. After hearing the explanation, he offered what was to him a logical solution. “If they are simply without a home, then why don’t we bring them home with us?”
Perhaps the solution is not as simple as that. Or isn’t it? Just last Christmas we were faced with a mother and child being expatriated to their home country due to their illegal status in the host country. It was going to take a couple of weeks to put all of their affairs in order. Meanwhile they had no place to stay. With hesitation we told our children of the situation. The children are constantly faced with the sacrifices that ministry calls for, so we were uncertain about asking them to share their vacation/family time and Christmas at that. We were stunned. Before we could even finish explaining the situation, the children said, “Well, you asked them to stay here didn’t you?”
We are expected to reach out to those less fortunate, neglected, ignored, and forgotten. But the truth is: it is rare that we are asked to this in a tangible way. We have all seen sitcoms where a naïve child brings a homeless person home, but have you ever actually done it? Why not? Perhaps it is because you don’t actually “see” homeless or needy people. Perhaps you refuse to be in situations where you might encounter them. Perhaps you aren’t praying for the opportunity to give with your own two hands. There is no doubt.
The opportunity is there and Jesus expects us to do it.
Question: When was the last time you had real contact with a person others don’t see?