In the past month, two homeless people in lower Bucks County, PA were laid to rest. At both services to honor their lives the pastors admonished attendees to reflect on what’s important in life and said that the funeral was a celebration of the person’s life.
Drawing from the 23rd Psalm, the pastor at Martha’s funeral spoke of how the Lord uses his children to witness to the world of God’s love and how He reaches down and pulls us out of the pit and restores us to his glory.
The pastor at the service for Eddie said that we all have a mission, a purpose in life. The most important thing is life is Jesus and reflecting Jesus in our relationship with others.
Christians bring light to the world by showing the fruits of the spirit:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
One thing that started happening after the funerals is that the brothers and sisters in the homeless community began to realize they need to come together. One homeless brother told me someone he had been at odds with reached out to make peace.
But all is not well. Wednesday night, on the heels of the last funeral service, someone stole a cell phone at a community meal.
The victim of the theft was angry, rightly so, and demanded that everyone who was there be searched. Some people refused because it violates their right of privacy and probable cause. I pray that the cell phone will be returned to its rightful owner and the thief be punished.
The homeless community needs not just a place to live, but moral support. They, like King David, need to be lifted out of the pit. The establishment in Bucks County treats the homeless the way blacks were treated during the Jim Crow south.
The homeless need to be encouraged, and, as Martin Luther King preached, not hate the enemy but fight for what’s right in love. “Be angry but do not sin”, the Bible says. When people treat you rotten, it’s hard not to harbor resentment and lash out at them or shun them. I struggle with this myself. Only God can empower you to deal with problems while showing the fruits of the spirit.
When I had a problem with a public official years ago, I lamented about how I had been wronged to a counselor. The counselor said that there will be A-holes in your life, but I shouldn’t let them bring me down. I should just leave them on the ash heap of history and move on. Good advice!
Unlike Curly of The Three Stooges, who joked “I’m a victim of circumstances”, you don’t have to be a victim of circumstances. There is more to life than what you may be going through at a particular time. As the pastor at Martha’s funeral pointed out, God is there for you during the vicissitudes, the ups and downs of life. God is always there.
In the homeless community we need to be there for each other.
“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.
For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth for he hath not another to help him up.
Again, if two lie together, they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?
And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
–Ecclesiastes 4:9 – 4:12