Life Giving 15: A Homeless Man

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I went to the Fullerton City Council meeting the other night, and one of the reports was about the homeless. There are currently about 72,000 homeless in Orange County, California.

One man sleeps at the end of our office building. I watched him for awhile to see where he was in the emotional progression. People who are newly on the street are scared and ashamed. The long term homeless are fearless and shameless.

My guy is in between. He has no fear, but had lots of dignity left. He wants no help from anyone. He still has hope of getting ahead in life some day, through his own ingenuity.

He has a bike, but it has no tubes or tires on the rims. I can’t imagine how little fun it would be to ride that thing. I have taken him breakfast, sought to connect, and offered to get him tires. He rebuffed me.

How do you help someone who is needy but who hates being needy? By my focusing on his physical needs and trying to meet them, I actually caused deeper emotional pain.

First of all, I am blessing the land where he lies and sleeps. Then I pray for divine appointments for him - opportunities for him to work and to form community on his terms. I pray protection. And, of course, I bless his spirit, celebrating his design and calling forth the dominion God made him to walk in.

There is always a way to be life giving, even to those who don’t want it.

Copyright by Arthur Burk

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