In the Midwest it doesn’t take long to see the changing of the seasons, particularly in the fall. Already the trees have burst forth in radiant reds and yellows. A panorama of color surrounds us and with it, temperatures are fo isalling. Next week, the clock will fall back so that the very dark mornings will decrease so that it is safe for people to go to work and school. For far too many, these days mean that their ability function in the outside is diminishing, they need to find some kind of shelter, for their classification is homeless!
The fierce winds and brutal temperatures make it impossible to "live on the streets" in such places as Chicago. Yet, warming and homeless shelters often have rules that place the homeless on the street for much of the day. Also, there are few government entities that make the homeless feel welcome. Why are there so many that have to endure frigid weather conditions, risking losing their very lives?
There are almost as many reasons as there are people. Some people are homeless by choice, others because they have been put out of their homes and are forced to live on the streets; some of the homeless suffer from mental and emotional trauma and have taken flight from where they were to somewhere they feel safe, even if it is the streets. There are children who are homeless, there are old people who are homeless – age, gender, sex, color, ethnicity – there is no pattern that can identify the next homeless person. Even if there were, there are never enough facilities to address the problem. Yet, God’s word tells us:
High hills for wild goats,
stony cliffs for rock badgers.
For each place, a resident,
and for each resident, a home.
19 The moon strides through her phases, marking seasons as she goes.
The sun hides at his appointed time,
20 And with the darkness You bring, so comes night—
when the prowling animals of the forest move about. Psalm 104:18-20 (The Voice)
Here we see the order of God. Verse 18b says, "for each place, a resident, and for each resident, a home". Why can’t our world be that way as it was in the beginning plan? We all know the answer to that, sin! Sin creates greed and greed breeds poverty. Someone has much more than they need, and others are scraping to just get by. While I don’t have the answer to fix this problem, or the many others that create homelessness, I believe this: that Psalm 104:18b is true – and through prayer, through faith, through seeking God for answers and then sharing them with our brothers and sisters that the issue of homelessness would be greatly reduced, if not eradicated. If we will just let God be God, in us, through us, and around us, the world even now could be a different place!