Thursday, July 30, 2009

Getting Past Judgments

This morning we visited LOTS (Lord of the Streets) where a Bible Study for the homeless was taking place. It was such a humbling experience. I went into the Bible study, hoping that the leader would preach truth, but, with out even thinking about it, judged the people. I did not go into thinking about judgments on these people, but thought about how I am sure these people probably don't know much about the Bible; they just come for coffee or just come because they feel like they should...I was not thinking about this judgment until I was completely surprised to hear what was coming out of their mouths. God really spoke to me. These people are homeless, not stupid and certainly not on a lower understanding of God or their relationship with God than me. In fact, I would be willing to bet that many of my new homeless friends had a greater faith and relationship with God than I did. I am even embarrassed to admit this, but I was truly humbled by this experience and want to show you how our GREAT God has been working in my life.
We studied spiritual gifts in 2 Corinthians 12:1-12. These people spoke of how some of us have different gifts than others, even the homeless have gifts! I know this shouldn't come as a surprise to me, but I NEVER once thought about it. I never thought about this subject, but I obviously had a underlying opinion on the subject since I was so jolted by those words. These homeless people are the same as you and me. We all have God given gifts and just because I am middle-class does not mean that God would give me a gift that He wouldn't give a homeless person. Our circumstances are different, but our God is the same! What an epiphany that I had, but sad that I did not realize sooner. I am ashamed!
They also spoke of God's grace being shown to us in the sun. It rose today and we did not even have to pay a bill or anything for it. It was a gift from God. They also spoke about how some of us slept on beds and some of us slept on concrete, but we all slept. They were so happy that God had given them rest and were grateful for the things I take for granted. I can not even explain all I learned from these men and women of God, who are homeless on earth but have a home with their heavenly Father. Could I praise God as they do and speak of Him as they do if I were in their circumstances? I pray I would, but I am not sure I could.
-Jeni Ellis, CSM Houston Summer 2009 City Host

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