The LORD watches over the sojourners;

he upholds the widow and the fatherless,

but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

Psalm 146: 9

 

It is rather common for people to blame the homeless, whether they be people originally from our home town or others who traveled from far off nations, for the situation in which that they find themselves. It is fairly easy to stand off away from them and decide that there certainly was something that they could have done to change things or that their own weakness and failure have clearly contributed to the desperate nature of where they are today. It is easy to do these things, and it is also very wrong of us to even think like this. The people upon whom we are casting judgement are deserving of so much more than this. They are people who have been set adrift in our world for reasons and by causes that none of them dreamed about or planned for. None of them, not the homeless man sleeping on a bench in the park, nor the woman sheltering her children in the back seat of her car on a city street, and none of the millions of people who have been driven from their homelands by violence and oppression set out in life to be in these situations.

 

We may not understand them, and we are often uncomfortable in their presence. However, we can choose to see them with eyes that have been opened by God and respond to them with hearts that are softened by Christ’s love, grace, and mercy. From seeing we can progress to praying for them and to seeking out the Lord’s leading in how we might respond to them. In prayer and meditative listening we can go before God and ask Him to provide each of us with a clearer understanding of the true needs that these other people have and seek His leading into taking action to enter into those needs using the resources, talents, and knowledge that the Lord has gifted to us in this process. God knows weakness, and He understands what it is like to live under oppression and hatred, for Jesus came to this world in weakness and He suffered under human oppressive rule from the beginning and encountered hatred at the end of those years. As His followers, Christ wants us to step into the lives of people who are existing beyond hope and to demonstrate to them the true hope of eternity that is best depicted in Christ’s love.

 

Wickedness and evil are rampant in our world. There is pain and suffering to be found in far off places and next door to our homes. From God’s point of view, we each have two choices that we can make. We can either join with Christ in loving the weak, the oppressed, the widows and orphans, and the sojourners, those who have no natural home; or, we can number ourselves with those who perpetrate the wickedness that God promises to bring to ruin. Goodness and evil-doing are the two sides of this tension point in life. We cannot exist in some other place, some middle ground that neither promotes evil nor engages in rescue and care for these unwilling travelers. I do believe that responding to these very real human needs is a matter for prayer and for deep consideration; however, I also hold that God and His Word are quite clear about the way that He sees all people. He would have us land on the side of accommodation, enter into pouring out love in tangible ways by providing for needs, grant asylum where evil peruses, and be peacemakers in times of turbulence and trouble. God desires for us to open our borders and our personal doors, feed the hungry, sit down and share the story of life with people we do not easily understand, and join Him in defeating the evil of our day with an outpouring of Christ’s love.