Yesterday I tasted my momma’s cooking for the first time in over a month.
She made fried pork chops & mashed potatoes.
After that, she sat on a broken pallet with a homeless man named Eric behind a dumpster surrounded by dog feces & watched him devour the portion she brought him.
God spoke to her & gave her insight into Eric’s life. She repeated these things to him & they were both surprised by the accuracy.
I won’t repeat what they spoke of because I think it’s special & sacred. But Eric walked away with instructions for getting his life back, & my goodness, was that beautiful.
Today we visited the shrine of Christ in Abernathy, Texas.
I took The Boy in & he marveled at the expansive statue of Christ’s mangled body clinging to a cross made of faux tree logs.
He said, “look, look!”
I said, “Jesus!”
He rushed up the stairs. I immediately saw what he wanted, so I let him go for it.
He touched the faux-Christ’s leg. I remarked, “look, he has boo-boos.”
The Boy stared up in wonder. “Boo boos.” He cooed.
I said, “He has many boo-boos.”
He moved down the other side of the staircase.
As he climbed down the stairs, he counted: “one, too, free, fouwer, fivve, six, sevven, ate, niine, ten, elevenn” — he stopped at eleven, I’m guessing because that’s as high as he could remember lol.
I like to think it wasn’t the stairs he was counting, but the boo-boos…mostly because we were only on the third step when he stopped.
“Jesus loves you,” I said.
He didn’t want to leave. We had to carry him out. (But I suppose that’s par for the course, ’cause we usually have to carry him out of everywhere.)
As I put him in the car, tears rolled from his gorgeous blue-green eyes…he pointed to the statue & cried, “Mine!” as he does with so many things.
But this time he was right. & I couldn’t help but tear up & think, “Mine!” too. (For He belongs to all of us.)
Being homeless has sucked. Really, really sucked. But moments like these make it suck so much less.
I truly wouldn’t trade the people we’ve met, the things we’ve experienced, the things we’ve seen.
We’ve seen tent villages of homeless people living in the middle of a median in metropolitan Louisiana.
Last night I saw an old man with a guitar — homeless, of course. He reminded me of my grandpa, a musician.
Today I saw a young couple walking down the street holding a baby in a car seat. I’m assuming they had no car. They looked content like they were making the best of it. (Do you know how hard it is to carry a baby in a car seat?!)
We’ve met Samantha, Bob, Ashley, Dee, & Chris (I haven’t posted about him, & probably won’t) — some homeless, some not.
All people who needed to be seen. Who needed to be loved on. Who needed to know they weren’t forgotten about…
I’ve learned about community. Discomfort. Asking for help. The list goes on…
I don’t know if you believe in miracles, but I sure do.
I’m living them every day.
Update 8/19/2022: I wrote this post for my LinkedIn about 4 months ago. We’re living in hotels, so, technically, still homeless. I began writing about our journey because I was hoping to challenge the way people think about homelessness and homeless people. I was hoping to stir change. I wanted people to be as upset about homelessness as I was/am. I’ve also realized some people have an odd disconnect between Christianity and homelessness. That is, “God wouldn’t let you be homeless, it has to be a mistake or choice you made, and it’s your own fault” — not in those words exactly, but the perception. (Now, I’ll clarify, this is the attitude of some, not all, Christians. Especially those who prize financial wealth as a symbol of blessing.) As a believer, I am trying to take this journey as a lesson. Maybe I did something wrong, maybe I didn’t — but I don’t see God as a teacher smacking my hand with a ruler. I see him as a kind Father, guiding myself and my family to what he has for us. We decided to go “all in” on his will. We dared to believe that he is still capable of doing what he did in Scripture, and we staked our lives on it. I have no reason to doubt this is all part of his plan, somehow. Even if it’s a “redirect” lol. We have learned, and are still learning, so much on this journey. I do not regret what we have gained. I do not regret seeing God move powerfully in the way we have (ways new to us, I might add). I am thankful for everything we’ve learned, the people we’ve met, and the things we’ve experienced. I know God has a purpose for it, even if it is not clear to me right now. I am still frustrated…still tired. I was in a bad mood all day long today because I just want my son to have a home. But I know that there are people who have it worse than us. And how fortunate we are to be doing this with Jesus, rather than without him. Being homeless doesn’t mean you’re automatically unsaved or lost. Christ himself was homeless. I hope you’ll remember that next time you see a brother or sister in Christ struggling.