Homeless Existence

I was on the train making my way home the other evening. When one of the few disturbing and slightly annoying “things” got on. A homeless man. As he started to make his begging way towards my end of the train, I noticed the reaction of the people around me. I saw people putting their earphones in, clutching their belongings tighter,  and suddenly the floor became a point of interest for all standing passengers.

I couldn’t see the homeless guy as he made his way but I heard him. I heard no responses. I knew my turn was coming soon as he got closer and sure enough it came before I had even thought of a course of action. When he asked if I had change, I replied saying “Sorry. I don’t have any change.”

The homeless man got excited about my verbal response and thanked me. He made mention of all the reactions that I saw and said we have mouths to communicate for a reason. I laughed because I did not understand or agree with the other occupants’ decision to completely ignore this man. But it is their choice.  I gave him a can of juice that I had yet to open. He thanked me once again as he took it said “God bless,” and left.

His reaction told me the one thing that made me wonder. It told me that he was used to being ignored. That made me wonder about the many people and communities in this world that would throw a civil rights fit, if their existence was blatantly ignored like the homeless. Let’s not even mention ALL the RELIGIONS that speak on how to deal with the poor and needy, that MOST people SUBSCRIBE to.

Now I am not a saint, nor am I trying to paint others as monsters for the way they choose to interact (or not) with others. I just think people should try alternative ways of interaction that doesn’t make make them appear heartless, or ignorant in some cases.

It takes no effort at all to ackowledge a person’s existence. It is not cosigning on their decisions in life or even a commitment to help them in their time of need. It’s simply saying, “Yes, I see you. I acknowledge that.” Just by doing that, is a help in itself. A help to both parties. Especially you.

By acknowledging that the other is still human, you don’t have to sit with the guilt of your act of inhumanity.  More importantly,  you won’t get comfortable with that inhumane feeling. No one can convince me that you can isolate those inhuman tendencies to react towards only a certain group. It is sure to waste over onto others, because WE ARE ALL HUMAN after all.

Love is…Intro

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends…” 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 ESV.

I have had an obsession with understanding love that began during my last relationship. I prayed  once asking God to show me what love is.  I had lived a lifetime and realized that I didn’t know what love is. Ironic isn’t it? I, who grew up in church, had to ask what love is. Looking back it saddens me that I even had to utter that prayer. Unknowingly admitting that I did not know God just by saying that.  I am very glad that I did pray because by doing so I showed that I was ready and willing to be shown my own ignorance. The revelations that I have gained since praying that prayer is astounding. It has made me into a better person, a better friend, sister, daughter and Christian. It has strengthened my relationships all the way around.

So I this time I am going to focus on what Love is. It is what it is. I will share what was revealed to me and probably some of the sad memories that brought on these revelations. So I hope everyone enjoys my “Love is…” series.

“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8 ESV

Damage beyond your repair

Have you ever held something in your hand nonchalantly? Something that was fragile and precious but you didn’t realize it’s value until it slipped between your fingers to watch it crash to the ground and shatter into pieces? Then you think to yourself, “Why wasn’t I more careful?” Or “Why didn’t I see it’s value before?” Then you curse at yourself because the damage is so far beyond your ability to fix it, if it is even fixable.  Then you have to accept the reality, that if it’s fixed, it will never be as good as it was before. Or that it will be restored to perfection by someone else for someone else. It seems that people handle ourselves, each other and our relationships so casually until something is broken and lose that person completely. I haven’t done that to others but I have allowed important aspects of myself to be seemingly shattered beyond repair.

That feeling of brokenness is different from the emptiness or “something’s missing” that most people tend to walk around with. The emptiness inside those people is the unawareness of themselves that they will find once they start to look. I am talking about someone who knew exactly who they were but something traumatic happens and the feeling of being broken overwhelms them. Walking around in pain daily, at a complete loss of how to even begin fixing what was broken inside you.  The thought of “Damage Done” is a constant in your head as you reminisce about the awesome you of the past and think to yourself there is no going back there. Thinking that life, circumstances and your own carelessness has forced you to be someone you never thought you could be or ever wanted to be, has filled you with an anger burgeoning towards wrath.  That in itself makes you even more angry, because that isn’t who you were before and you can’t even fix it. But it’s really true that time heals all wounds.

Or to be more accurate, God and time heals all wounds. Time puts distance between you and the incident that caused your brokenness. It allows your mind the chance to come to terms with reality. As you’re thinking that you have to walk around the rest of your life in this broken state and begin to accept this, God very subtly starts to repair. You don’t even notice that pieces are returning to their original position, but stronger than they were before.  The day you do notice, you stand in awe. While you were accepting the situation, God was teaching you forgiveness. While you tried to hide the scars, God healed them. While you were trying to be strong and endure, God showed you that you can let your burden down. You feel so light once you do let it go, and so happy. You are overjoyed that you didn’t lose who you were and that you were restored to a much better condition to who you were before. Even though when you think about what you had to endure to become this much better mach 4 version of yourself, you become saddened that you may not have had to go through some of it if you had listened in the first place. But the joy still remains because you weren’t destroyed.

I know there are some people that dislike it when I go religious on them. But what I have endured has made it impossible to keep God out of my story or my joy. Yes, I am logical. And anyone that wants to have logical debates with me can. I like logic, but wisdom has shown me that God is necessary. I won’t play down the fact that I did make some important decisions to assist but it was impossible for me to repair myself. I was literally damaged beyond my own repair.

I completely encourage anyone that is going through a period of brokenness to lean on God. If you don’t know how, it is so ok, because God sends people into your life to teach you so you can let it go. It was that way for me. It was people that helped me but I recognize that it was God that placed them in my life. Just remember that you are not alone.