We All Have Baggage

There Are Homeless in Bucks County; A Journey with The Homeless, a self-evident title and an exploration of the homeless, which focuses on Bucks County, PA, has made its journey from publication to the local authors section of the Bristol Branch of the Bucks County Free Library system (Grundy). There are two copies, placed alongside one another at Grundy. I found them there on Saturday.  

People who are homeless have been visiting Grundy. The book is about them and reflects the realism about society as does John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.  

The interlibrary electronic catalogue in Bucks shows that there are two copies available, in display, in Bristol.  

There Are Homeless in Bucks County puts the reader in the shoes of the homeless – you walk along with them, as me as your guide, on the journey. You see how they live and experience the good and the bad as you walk with them.  The book looks soberly at the individual homeless and at the establishment, telling it like it is. 

About five years ago I started hanging out with the homeless, including going to the shared meals for the homeless and those in need. Early on I found they are really no different than me. 

“We all have baggage”, a formerly homeless guy told me a few years back. I know I do. I’m struggling to show a good, Godly, constructive, gracious anger towards wrongdoers. I’m almost finished reading David Powlison’s book Good & Angry, to learn how to attack the problem constructively. Reading is one thing, but doing is another.  

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
James 1:22-24 

Accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior is just that. Christ not only saves you, but continues to work in you throughout your life in a process called progressive sanctification.  My girlfriend, who was sitting next to me at the shared meal, where I lambasted Birdman for stealing something from someone who was sitting next to me, said I took my confrontation too far. I was right to say something about Birdman’s predatorial, intrusive behavior, which creates a negative atmosphere at the meal, but got carried away. I need to have God work on me in that matter. 

My girlfriend, a Christian, was like my Sandi in the book, who would call me out, gently admonish me when I was wrong. This is one reason we may have a future together. 

There Are Homeless in Bucks County is available online:  https://www.amazon.com/There-Are-Homeless-Buck-County/dp/172865209X/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=there+are+homeless+in+bucks+county&qid=1555953133&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull 

I just saw a mental health hustler doing some business with some new people who have been attending the shared meals. I talk about the hustlers in the book.

Talk Is Cheap!

“Loving Jesus and Serving The World”, reads a logo on The Levittown Church Of God van. Although we who come to the free shared homeless and needy meals appreciate being fed, some of us expressed outrage with the attitude of the host, namely the pastor, at the meal last night. 

We he opened, he bragged that the church itself provided the meal.  “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.” Matthew 6:2. 

“Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips.” Proverbs 27:2 

The host started taking up table cloths, chairs, and even tables not much past 6:30 p.m., as people were still eating. The meal is scheduled to run from 6 p.m. until 7 p.m. Guests were not let in until 6:05. One of the guests asked if the meal was supposed to end at 6:30 p.m.   “Don’t you see, everyone is leaving”, the pastor snapped.  Shortly thereafter, as I sat, wiping my mouth with a napkin, the pastor, standing opposite me said something like “hope you had a good meal; we’re breaking it down…”.  As I finished wiping my mouth, he flipped the table, abruptly folding it up, almost dropping it on my lap!   

As we moseyed towards the door, some of the hosts subtly pushed us out, as if we were cattle!  Movin’ movin’ movin’. Keep them doggies movin’. Keep them doggies movin’, rawhide…  Move ‘em out! 

Except for graciously and generously offering the guests food, the hosts did not interact with their guests as they have in the past.  In the past, the pastor and other hosts have reached out to others. On one occasion long ago I talked with the pastor about a problem, which was later resolved. 

Christians should reflect Jesus. People are attracted to God through the way they treat others, by their love. “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”  2 Corinthians 5:20  

There always has and always will be those who, in the name of Christ, do not rightly reflect Him.  

Some of the churches that host the meals reach out to their guests to develop relationships and minister to them. Many of the hosts and their guests know one another on a first name basis.  These churches practice the philosophy that man does not live by bread alone, and offer guests spiritual as well as physical food. They are there for their friends who visit the meals, as are the guests who help each other. 

In “There Are Homeless in Bucks County; A Journey With The Homeless”, I elaborate on the value of the  shared meals as well as other aspects of homelessness in Bucks County, based on personal experience with the homeless here: 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/172865209X/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_dp_U_.iX9BbZXM6842?fbclid=IwAR14Y8jAxc462oqzltCCdZGq4BCLQg-HW8VEoAdpkGjog9Q78PqGh6zTTIA