Remember that Depeche Mode song People Are People?
"People are people, so why should it be--that you and I should get along so awfully?"
I've lived in a small town for almost 4 years now, aside from the INSANELY CRAZY, MEAN people who blow up the news and our Facebook feed, I'm finding more and more that people don't respect people anymore. We are as unappreciated and disposable as toilet paper.
You would think, living in a small Texas town (think sheltered, Bible belt) where everyone claims to love Jesus, that love would ABOUND. Ummm, not so much.
It's as crazy as that notification from CNN that popped up on your phone.
I just read about a friend (Lord, thank you that I can call her my friend, because she's all sorts of AWESOME) and her stepping in to lend a kind word, understanding, and aid to a homeless couple being accosted at the local grocery store.
God has given me a heart for the homeless. Call it the transient. The down and out. I can't NOT see them.
It began about 10 years ago when I worked for Montblanc. You know the pen company? Yeah, I was the visual merchandiser. I had to waltz in and out of fancy, hoity-toidy stores and peddle overpriced writing utensils. It was fun for a while, but my heart just wasn't in it. I was more concerned about the homeless guy in Houston who held the door open for me at Starbucks. The same guy. Every single time I went there. They were everywhere. It's like God was saying, "LOOK."
My next job I worked at a homeless shelter. In the kids area. I was a teacher.
It was my favorite job to date. Probably ever. (besides being a mom.)
Sometimes I offer help. Sometimes I give them money. Sometimes, all I can do is drive by and pray. (I have plenty of stories to tell you, but I'm going to focus on the most recent.)
Friday night, my husband came home late. He just wanted some comfort food. I ran to Taco Bell.
As I paid and left the drive thru, I saw a man sitting there in the warmth of the convenience store light.
I had $20 bucks cash in my wallet. Purposely pulsed to help someone. I never carry cash. I just forget. At my last transaction I had got money to help someone in need.
I hopped out of my minivan and spoke to the man. I handed him the $20. "Hi, I thought you might need this." His face brightened and he opened up. His name was Timothy. He's 56. He used to work construction before falling off a roof and breaking his back. He gets a disability check of about $740 a month. So, he could work, he could find a place, with low rent, but has no idea where to start. Where to turn.
For someone who has nothing, it's all pretty daunting.
What do you need right now? "I would love a shower and a new pair of jeans from Walmart."
"Ok. Hop in."
I took him to Walmart and bought him jeans. I brought him to my home, explained to my husband that I was helping a "stray"--which he completely understood--he has lived with me long enough to just smile and nod. I am educating my children on helping people in need. I told them to address him as Mr. Tim.
Before he showered, I offered to wash his clothes. I made him a sandwich. After his shower we sat at my dining room table and talked . . . until midnight.
I took him back to the Exxon and promised to return his clothes and backpack at 8:00 am . . . .
Has your Facebook feed been making your heart hurt lately?
From the violence and destruction, murder and rape, to the hopelessness and despair--it's fueled by so much hate, anger and rage. I mean honestly. are you not affected? It's crazy, right?
And, it's increasing.
I just saw a post where homeless people were reading mean tweets about being homeless. Y'all. Awful. Just awful. Every single person was driven to tears. So. Mean. And, why? Why do we hate people so much?
My family had a Ghostbusters marathon the other night. Ghostbusters 1 was awesome. Still so good. My kids ask to listen to Ray Parker Jr. in the car over and over. Ghostbusters 2 is by far the lesser movie. Not as good as the first. But, do you remember all that pink slime?
In Ghostbusters 2 the evil dead were channeling themselves through pink slime flowing in the sewers under NYC. It responded to human emotion. If you yelled at it, it would get angry and destroy everything in its path. If you sang Jackie Wilson's Your Love to it, it would dance. And be full of brotherly love. Cue the Statue of Liberty.
I think Ivan Reitman was onto something: There is a nasty, smelly pink evil slime running under our country, our cities and towns and dare I say it: through our veins???
This is our problem: We don't love people.
Just for the fact that they are people.
People are more important that animals. People are more important than stuff and things. People are more important that money.
Why are people important?
BECAUSE THEY WERE MADE IN THE IMAGE OF THE LIVING GOD.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’