If We Want to Love the Poor, We Must Be Near Them


I am no expert about poverty and homelessness. While I want to write as the hero of this story, I am one of the worst of all sinners when it comes to relating to those populations. This is how this article came about.

My husband was always the one who “felt called” to work with the homeless. I’m ashamed to say that whenever we ran into someone living on the streets, he would dive in, and I would hang back. I was uncertain and uncomfortable, and I was willing to wait in a coffee shop or sit in the car if it meant staying within the boundaries of what felt safe to me.

While I so badly want to put on a front that I have treated everyone with dignity and respect, the truth is I have not. I have been a hypocrite to the core, and I have begged God for his forgiveness. I have asked for him to enter into the places where I haven’t been able to look people in the eye — people who are made in his image. I have asked for his grace for the times when I have pulled up to a street corner and felt awkward, so I chose to disengage, to put my sunglasses on and look away.

Yet here I am, in the most shocking, Jesus-induced twist of all: Working full-time at an urban homeless shelter for women and children. …Read More.