H is for the Homeless

H is for the Homeless

I was evacuated from my home once. It was several years ago and it was related to a fugitive hunt in my neighborhood. To say I was unprepared for such an event would be an understatement. I live in a small town, in a smaller neighborhood, on a quiet street (except for kids playing and lawnmowers running). Never did I imagine that one evening a police officer would come to my door and tell my family to leave quickly. To this day the memory still doesn’t seem quite real.

My family turned the oven off with food still inside; grabbed jackets, purses, phones, and a computer; and left the house. We weren’t sure where we were headed or how long we would be gone. We called family who lived in the next town who said we were welcome to come stay. We spent the remainder of the evening with my aunt, watching a movie and trying to make an impromptu “girls night” out of the evening. Thankfully, several hours later, we were able to return home.

But I cannot imagine what it would be like to leave your home and have no idea where you were going, what life would be like when you got there, or if you would ever return home again. My family knew that if my aunt had not been home and the situation would have lasted overnight we could stay in a hotel. It wasn’t in the budget, but it would have been done had it been a necessity. Personal items and a change of clothes could be picked up at the local Walmart.

Every year thousands upon thousands of people are evacuated from their homes–only they do not have the options of nearby family, hotels, or Walmarts. They are driven from their homes by violence, as villagers in Orissa, India, were in 2008. They are chased from their homes by monsoon rains, flooding, and natural disasters like the victims of cyclone Phailin were in 2013. They are internally displaced persons (IDPs).

What can we do? More than anything, we must pray. Pray for those who lost not only homes but loved ones. Pray for the families who have no idea where they will sleep tonight or what they will eat. Pray for the missing, the lost, the hurting. And pray for ourselves, that we do not forget that every single life affected by tragedy matters, that we never become so used to hearing about the heartache that we fail to let our hearts break.

Finally, let us pray that every one of these internally displaced persons finds the hope and life that Jesus Christ alone can offer, the Son of Man who had “no place to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20 NIV).

 Ben and Me

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Categories: Blog for Asia | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “H is for the Homeless

  1. You’ve chosen a great word and topic for this letter. Being homeless is terrible. When I was young we were homeless and took refuge under a bridge. However, being homeless didn’t mean there weren’t ‘gifts’. Personally, I look at the time with bittersweet feelings. We all learned a lot from the experience; to appreciate what we have; let go of what doesn’t matter; to strive to be better.
    Of course my situation was due in part because of choices made by my parents. The ones you’ve described here, and your own situation, are because of external forces.
    Prayer is so important!
    Thank you for bringing up this topic.

    • Blossom, I can’t imagine how hard that would have been. Thank you for sharing and for pointing out that God still brings good out of even the worst times.

  2. Pingback: ABC Blogging Favorites for Letters G and H - Ben and Me

  3. I’ve probably been closer to being homeless that I ever realized as a child, but I still cannot fathom it.

    This is on reason why Future Hope Ministries (the ministry to street kids in Uganda I often share about) is so important to me:

    “And pray for ourselves, that we do not forget that every single life affected by tragedy matters, that we never become so used to hearing about the heartache that we fail to let our hearts break.”

    We are only one family, but we can make a different one person at a time. It is so important to commit ourselves to doing so.

    Thanks for linking up with #abcblogging. We’ve featured this post as one of this weeks favorites! http://benandme.com/2014/06/abc-blogging-favorites-letters-g-h.html

    • Marcy, thank you for your note. It can be hard to feel like we’re making a difference when we see the enormity of the problem. But that’s not where we need to keep our focus. God is still far bigger than it all.

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