As we dive deeper into the subculture of homelessness, I am struck by the number of people who are without support and loving relationships. There are few of us who can provide this and so many in need, a multitude who need friendship with Jesus and with people. My supervisor Jeff read Matthew 9:34-38 at our team meeting recently:
"And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction, when he saw the crowds he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, 'the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.'" (ESV)
So many are needed to shepherd (pastor) our friends living outside, to advocate for them, to share the truth of Jesus with them. So pray with me for workers.
I know the work is hard, but the sharing in the reward is great! I see this as I watch Mike move into the only apartment he has really ever had. Looking at the joy on his face, I know deeply the reward is great and I see a glimpse of the kingdom.
When families come to the meal sharing at Pershing Park and Taj plays with Gator and little Lily hands an orange to David, I see a glimpse of the kingdom. Taj and Lily as children are unaware of what separates housed from homeless. They give me a picture of what is coming and will come when Jesus returns. Someday, as God's family, we will not be separated by our socioeconomic statuses, race, or gender (there will be neither jew nor greek) and I will rejoice now in that reward!
Will we work for this? Will we partner in the gospel with Jesus?