Today I’m excited because this is the time of year when my church hosts a homeless shelter in our town.  By that I mean we set up cots in one of our church buildings and have about forty-five guys stay over. There are women too, but we don’t host them this time, another church takes care of them. We’ll do it for a week and then they’ll move on to another church for a week, and so on and so forth through the spring until the weather warms up. It’s nice that we do this here, all the churches banding together to provide the housing. There are other organizations like the Salvation Army that are the first-line shelters, however when they fill up (which they always do) then the churches take care of the folks. And in a world that’s so separated by beliefs both religious and political, and economic too, it’s nice that people with such different beliefs can come together to help support the very least of us.

I really don’t do much though.

I do an overnight, which I’ll do during the week. And I’m always open to whatever else may need to be done. There are quite a few people involved. This year I was asked to help out tonight, which is the first night and the “welcome” night, so I’ll help serve the dinner which really is a matter of helping to set up a buffet for when the guys get there, then clean up afterwards and whatnot.

And yes make people feel welcome too.

The reason I even bring it up is I’ve been thoughtful lately about what makes a family as this is the time of year that one thinks more so about such things. And although I do certainly love my family, I do have a talent for making do with an extended family in my community as well, and for some reason really do get along best with those who have suffered and are challenged most. It’s just a strong suit of mine and one I’d never trade in for anything. I have a thing for flawed people.  I’m not sure if it’s because there have been times when I personally have been truly down-and-out, much more so than many, and can totally relate. Or if it’s because when you have nothing more to lose you’re more accepting and responsive to kindness and less judgmental and have nothing to fear and I can sense that and it resonates.

Lots more “traditionally successful” people who I run into on a daily basis just seem so guarded and boxed in it’s unnerving.

So being we’re into the holiday season, I’m really happy for the opportunity to serve others. I don’t think it’s noble at all, that’s not my point. Although I do have to say it makes me feel good. And not in some kind of feel-good-bleeding-heart kind of way either.  On the contrary, I think I’m lucky to have the chance to do it. The blessing’s for ME. And it must be because most of the time I feel homeless in my soul.  So this all reminds me exactly where my home is.


15 thoughts on “HOMELESS IN MY SOUL

  1. This is a great post and I understand the sentiments totally.
    Homeless in my soul”, I have been there. And the good feeling you get reminds me of the good feeling I get when I help an active alcoholic in sone way orvother.There is definitely nothing noble about that feeling at all, which may be difficult for someto understand but that oesnt matter.


  2. This is so inspiring, Pete. I am amazed whenever I see the church behaving as the church was established to behave. I’m amazed, both because it is wonderful to see the hand of
    Christ in everyday people, but mostly because it is rare to see these days. How long has your church taken part in this? How many other churches participate? I feel this ought to be happening all over the place.

    • I’m glad you think so and I hope it is happening around where you are. I hate the thought of people sleeping under bridges in the cold! 🙂 Yeh we have 65 congregations of all faiths that take part here in our small city of all faiths and you’re right, it is inspiring It gives one faith in human nature no doubt. Thanks for reading bud.

  3. This is awesome, Pete. This is what the world needs to be about, people helping each other on a more personal level. Not through long, impersonal beaurocratic lines and red tape. Thank you for being a part of it. If only more of us did these things. Blessings to you.

  4. my guess is that many of us feel homeless in our souls. speaks to your newer post, yes? we’re padding so much of our daily selves with fast this and quick that, not taking near enough time to just stop. This is my job, to sit in counsel with men, women and children who have become displaced…. they share their stories with me and I advocate for them… for help. I’ve met many (so many) former middle income earners who are now living in their cars. And the chidren…. 1.6 million homeless children in our country right now. Your line, “I really don’t do much though.” It’s true yes? Because it doesn’t take much to care. You’re a good person. Thank you.

  5. It’s always amazing to me that people don’t realize how easy it is to become homeless. It’s not a they and us situation, it’s how we take care of each other. Glad to hear there are churches that deserve nonprofit status – we saw some unpleasant representations during the election season. Nothing lovelier than true charity in action – good for you!

    • We definitely saw unpleasant and very divisive representations during the election season. Again, it’s all a real blessing for me so I’m glad I get to do it at this stage of the game. You started it anyway when you were talking about making a family and life in general the other day. It just made me think about it so thanks.

  6. “I have a thing for flawed people” … in a beautifully written post what an absolutely beautiful line and, without a doubt, part of your own beauty, Pete.

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