This is a hard thing to do and easier to judge how others do it as opposed to doing it ourselves. It is also very hard to imagine what or how you would want treatment if you were down and out unless you have actually been there.
I still remember a council of 14 people assigned by my city to discuss the street people living under our expressway. Many of them were Christian leaders in the community. I met with two of them offering copies of Bibles written in a contemporary language.
One just laughed at me – giving a Bible to a street person when they needed food, clothing and shelter at a higher priority and the other said that they do not need Bibles, they need to move.
Two things happened to me personally that showed how God sustained my faith in His Word.
The man who said they do not need Bibles was filming in front of a street persons shelter talking in grand terms his vision of helping these people. Inside the shelter he was standing in front of was a street person who when asked how does he survive living on the streets, he reached under his makeshift bed and pulled out a box. Inside that box was a NT and he said that he reads it everyday and everyday it gives him the strength to reach out, help others and live.
The couple who laughed at me were in leadership in a major television ministry. Their laugh was in my head when I decided to ask a street person who had come in one day for a hot meal along with 100 or so other people on a Saturday night. I asked this man who had come in late and was eating alone if I could bother him with just one question. As he kept eating and did not respond, I took that as a positive and continued. I told him that people told me that all a street person needs is food, clothing and shelter and I asked him if that was true. He continued to finish his mouthful and then slowly reached into a pocket in his cargo pants and pulled out a green garbage bag. Inside that bag was another clear garbage bag which ended up being wrapped around a small red NT from the Gideons. He said that he lives off the Word of God every day and without it he would die. Then he re-wrapped it very carefully, put it back in its pocket and resumed eating. I said thank you so much and left.
I decided then to get 100 copies of NT to place at an exit table so when the people left the eating hall they could take one at no cost. The copies were gone in 3 months.
God gives dignity to those who are down and out and it feels good to do the same. God looks after all of us, no matter what state we are in. He is the one who makes us robust with life.
Whenever we are sick, God becomes our nurse and nurses us back to health. God be gracious to us and put us together again. God, give grace, get me up on my feet.
Blessed is God, always, most definitely.
The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience. Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades. This is a very real danger for believers too. Many fall prey to it, and end up resentful, angry and listless. That is no way to live a dignified and fulfilled life; it is not God’s will for us, nor is it the life in the Spirit which has its source in the heart of the risen Christ.