Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Homeless In The City

Linking up with the Spirit of the Poor synchroblog. I know it's short, but I think I already covered "Affirming the Humanity" in the first link-up with Loving My Neighbors. I guess I had just a little bit more to say, by way of an exercise in empathy.

Homeless In The City

"Get a life. Get a room.
Get a job.Get a clue.
Get an education.
It’s all up to you."

I cannot afford to buy bootstraps,
And you don’t have time to see,
You’re so busy naming problems,
You will not even look at me.

You hand me a granola bar,
As we share a narrow sidewalk.
We go in opposite directions,
If you would stop then we could talk.

But I know you are so busy
Doing good the way you do.
And someday if I’m lucky...

You'll see that I'm a person, too.



  1. There is never an excuse to not see people as part of humanity - everyone - even if we see them sitting on the sidewalk every day at the same place - they are part of humanity. thanks for giving us this.

  2. Yes! Yes! Yes!

    I once took a sweet man named Richard out to dinner during a break I had at a pastors conference in Denver. He was hungry, weak, homeless and had just gotten out of the hospital. As we sat in the restaurant, we definitely got several looks from others who were surprised that he was there. The waiter kept prying and asking me what we were doing there. That evening, I caught a teeny tiny glimpse of what it was like to be in Richard's shoes. And at the end of the dinner, after Richard shared with me numerous stories about his life, Richard told me that for the first time in many many years, he felt human again. That hit me in my core, and I will never forget that moment.

    Thank you for a beautiful poem that reminds us of the humanity of ALL of God's children.

  3. The part that is hard for me is that our "benevolence" is always a chosen act. We get to decide where our money goes. Who we feed. Who we clothe. Whose story we help to carry. And they wait. Unseen. Unsung. Unremembered. But I know Jesus remembers. I think I will whisper this blessing over every hurting heart I encounter from now on. "Jesus sees. Jesus remembers."

  4. One of the things I always do with people who ask for money is look people in the eye and say hello, even though I don't give them anything. Those I pass everyday now say hello back and smile. The cafe where I go every morning used to have an area where the homeless (and musicians) hung out. There was one man who had a tent in a cemetery near Harvard Square. He took me under his wing, and would give me things he found. One of these men died last month and we had a memorial time in the cafe one evening. Personal contact is what most people crave.


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