We Gotta Get Out of This Place!

Gracious people have worked hard to help the homeless in Bucks County, PA, but a few miscreants are risking losing the free meals they provide. Lately I heard that before one of the meals homeless guys urinated in the parking lot, where people could possibly see them.

There’s enough prejudice against the homeless; this kind of crass behavior only adds to stereotypes! All the people who, out of the goodness of their own hearts, put in the time in effort to feed to homeless needs is for someone in the neighborhood or passing by to see, and possibly report this crude behavior. It isn’t good public relations for the homeless. Some of us are trying to convince the public that the homeless are basically decent people – that they just don’t have a home – but when certain individuals create problems it makes the PR campaign to educate the public more difficult.

Evidently, some homeless people think that because they “live in the street” it’s natural to adapt a street behavior. As I’ve written before, just because you are homeless you don’t have to lose your dignity. You can act civilized. Let people judge you on the content of your character and not your living situation! Homelessness is no excuse for bad behavior!

Some homeless people have not let their station in life define their behavior. The Bucks County liberal establishment is heir to the philosophy that believes in a caste system, so it’s no surprise that its view of the homeless is that once you are homeless, you will always be homeless. On the contrary, the consensus in our country, before it was contorted by the French enlightenment and eastern religion, is that everybody has an opportunity to be whatever he strives to be. Examples of this are Abraham Lincoln, who grew up in a shack but improved himself and became President, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and now HUD head and top neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson.

Speaking of Dr. Carson, one of his quotes applies to the homeless situation. “Success is determined not by whether or not you face obstacles, but by your reaction to them. And if you look at these obstacles as a containing fence, they become your excuse for failure. If you look at them as a hurdle, each one strengthens you for the next.”

I’m a great believer that people can be restored. One guy who was homeless and struggling for work got temporary jobs through an agency. He told me that one place he worked as needed asked to have him back when they needed someone. Obstacles did not stop him, and he kept plugging away, having faith that God would provide. God did. He also has substance abuse problem, but went through a Twelve Steps program and was able to lick the problem. Now he has a good steady job he went to school for, and is doing well in it.

He told me that he doesn’t want to be made too comfortable in his homeless situation. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have the incentive to get out of this place, if it’s the last thing he ever does.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUpBSvN1a50

There are other homeless success stories in Bucks County. In one such story, a formerly homeless guy became self sufficient and got his act together because, as he told me, he took responsibility for his actions and didn’t blame others. “They don’t like that.” I’m not sure to whom he was referring – we talked briefly as he walked by my table at a community meal, but I believe it could apply to world view of the establishment in Bucks County – Penndel Mental Health, The (alleged) Advocates for the Homeless and Those in Need (AHTN), the county commissioners, the soccer moms whose bratty kids terrorize the Levittown Public Library…

It’s good that some of the churches are doing more than feeding the homeless. Many of them genuinely make them feel welcome, accept them and minister to them. After all, man does not live by bread alone. Likewise, some homeless and needy people counsel one another, encouraging, building one another up.

With Allen and Keith’s wasteful, problematic mental health hustler programs about to be defunded, the churches and the brothers and sisters need to fill in the gap – to fill the empty shell with genuine concern and help, something not, as was the case with Alice in Wonderland, found in a pill.

The community meals for the homeless and those in need in Bucks County is a wonderful thing. Let’s not ruin it!

 

The Damage Undone

“I’ve seen the needle
and the damage done
A little part of it in everyone
But every junkie’s
like a settin’ sun.”

–lyrics from Neil Young’s The Needle and the Damage Done

Neil wrote this song about two close friends who had heroin addictions. They died after the song was recorded. The sun went down on his friends. Heroin addiction, like other addictions, left unchecked, is a death sentence.

This ballad is a warning for those who engage in destructive behavior such as using heroin. There is a little part of destructive behavior in everyone.

A drug addict once told me that he wished he hadn’t engaged in the behavior that put him in the sorry state he was in.  Although life is not a video game, where you can erase everything you’ve done and start over, you can, with God’s help, start fresh.

The book of Lamentations records the story of Jerusalem ravaged by war. The Israelites were run out of  town and were oppressed after having turned away from God. “Those who pursue us are at our heals; we are weary and find no rest.” Sounds like the state of the homeless in Bucks County, PA.

The prophet Jeremiah reluctantly called on God to intervene. “Restore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may return; renew our days as of old. Unless you have utterly rejected us and are angry with us beyond measure,” he lamented. But despite the Israelites messing up, God answered prayer and returned the exiles to Jerusalem.

No matter how much we mess up, if we come to God and trust in Him he will have mercy on us and will restore our ruined lives. After turning away from God, my life spun out of control and I was in a downward spiral. I suffered greatly, hurting myself and loved ones. The anxiety and depression I had suffered from but kept under control got out of control.

God restored me, pulled me up out of the pit after I returned to God.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, about 18 percent of adults in America suffer from some form of anxiety related disorder. For the Christian, there should be an inverse relationship between such afflictions and their faith. The more you have faith, the less you are afflicted with such ailments. One Christian sister told me that if you pray, you don’t worry. If you worry, then you don’t pray.

“[Thou], which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth.”

–Psalms 71:20