We in Terrell know it has been a drenching cold couple of days. Most of us are sheltered and warm inside somewhere but on the streets of our tiny community are some that shiver from the rain under any covering they can find: a store awning, a shed, a tree, a bush. Not only are they exposed to the elements but have nothing to eat. It seems odd that for the majority we are in between Christmas and The New Year and our thoughts are back on ourselves. The explosion of generosity has faded and our hopes and dreams for the promise of the New Year lighten our hearts. But for some in the shadows there is still little hope. They grasp onto a thin thread of strength and fight for each moment of life.
These ignored and downtrodden are not forgotten though. We may forget. We might ignore but God in Heaven has them in His sight. He catches their tears in jars, labels them with their names, and cherishes each of them. He says to us, “Go and Love them. Feed them. Shelter them. Clothe Them. Warm them. Visit them in their sickness.” And as we do, in them we find Jesus.
I sat in our room at Serenity yesterday with some of our Brothers who have no shelter or food. The rain was cold and was not going to let up. “Where are you staying tonight?” I asked.
“Wherever we can,” they said.
I got with our landlord and he graciously agreed to let them stay in our place. Joe Cobb, our part time care-taker agreed to stay with them for two nights. I contacted the Police Department and let them know the guys would be in the building.
We don’t have cots. Just an L shaped sectional sofa. The guys have to sleep slouched on the sofa. There is a small coffee table they can put their feet on but it’s only big enough for 3 people to share. The good thing is the sofa has cushions and it’s warm dry inside. There is also a television they can watch westerns, movies, and sports. It allows them to get out of survival mode for a little while.
Last night four homeless men found reprieve from a night of survival and found a night of rest. Jesus said, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.” Matthew 11:28-30 | MSG
A real rest. Isn’t that what we all want.
Last night and tonight my Brothers are resting. They’re also safe. At rest and safe. A small example and experience of Heaven. The door is unlocked for them. It’s revealed to them. It’s a picture of the Eternal Rest that waits for us. A place without hunger or thirst. A place where there no homelessness. A vision of what should be and will be.
In these in between days of Christmas and New Years, four ignored and downtrodden souls found a Piece of Heaven on earth and I can’t help but think Jesus smiled and maybe whispered, “Thank you to all who did this to Me.”