Hope for the Homeless

Maybe you’ve read about my journey to faith in My Life’s Soundtrack. If you haven’t, I’d love it if you decided to have a peek. From being physically – but primarily spiritually – homeless some years ago, I found a home in Jesus and my insecurities began to be healed from the inside out.

Of course, that was just the start of the journey. It can be tempting to think, when we have that kind of turn-around, that that’s it. We’ve found what we were looking for. We’ve been born again, found peace, were lost but now we’re found, or whatever. But it’s just the start. And the best is yet to come.

Like the romance of honeymoon, those who genuinely love and are truly loved know that real love is not the passion of newlyweds but that which has overcome trials, which has stood the test of time and tragedy and challenges, which has matured and developed into something deeper, more courageous, more giving.

My relationship with God is not what it was when I was a zealous young fanatical charismatic Christian. It’s not better. It’s not worse. It’s different. Actually, it is better!

For one thing I’m more reflective, and more secure in my faith, and therefore more free to be honest about my beliefs rather than feel I have to agree with any party lines of the Christian establishment – while at the same time valuing unity more highly than ever!

My outer life tends to consist of mornings, evenings and nights spent managing the joys and challenges of my family – a toddler, a teenager and one in between – wrapped around daytimes spent busily coordinating a homeless health service. It’s all good, of course. That is, I have everything to be thankful for, even if I’d like to complain about being too busy and tired and not having enough time to go running or to write stuff like this! But here I am.

(OK, I am busy and tired and that’s why I can’t sleep and why I’m writing this in the middle of the night, but I still have no reason to complain…)

But even these things are not what my life really consists of. My real life is internal and is made up of my waxing and waning love for Jesus, my attachments, joys, temptations, hopes and doubts, and the attitudes of my heart towards my family, clients, colleagues, friends, neighbours and strangers.

I express my love for God differently these days. The scriptures I treasure (i.e. the Bible) tell me that the kind of worship that God is pleased with is not so much exuberant songs or sacrificial giving or church commitment, but treating people in need – especially those most marginalised by society or religion – with dignity, respect, value and compassion – with ‘agape’ love.

Homeless and vulnerably housed people, amongst others, are a gift from God to us. They offer us the opportunity to express our love for him in a tangible way on this earth.

Doing the job I do is a mind-blowingly incredible gift, privilege and responsibility that I’ve been entrusted with. One I don’t want to take lightly. In my busy-ness, an attitude of love, so easily forgotten, is everything.

Bulletin-316-coverIt has been a wonderful privilege and opportunity also to have an article on the Hastings Homeless Service featured in this month’s Royal College of Nursing Bulletin.

Please click on the picture opposite (that’s me!) and then go to pages 8-9 to have a read about what I do…

…externally, at least.

And if you’re a praying person, please pray for us, that this service would reveal divine, healing love to its clients and colleagues.

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