Source: Oinos Educational Consulting
by Frank Marangos, D.Min., Ed.D., FCEP
Click the photo above to View an uplifting video. Music provided by Amy Grant.
Christmas is a time of festive excitement and anticipation. For the nation’s homeless families and individuals, however, it is a particularly emotional and painful season of the year. While many of us are spending time with loved ones, the poor, hungry, and homeless are struggling with the devastating effects of loneliness, isolation and sleep deprivation.
The sense of being lost, displaced, and homeless is pervasive in our contemporary culture. The yearning to belong, to be in a safe place, is a deep and moving pursuit. Apart from seeking a safe abode for the body, the soul also yearns for a “home,” a transcendent shelter where identity, purpose, and destiny can be discerned. As a result, many individuals – especially during the Christmas Season – no longer feel at home in the world. They feel “homeless!”
As the scriptural verse quoted above indicates, Jesus was born, lived, and died as a homeless person. As such, during His earthly ministry, Jesus and His followers consistently sought to serve the estranged and forgotten by society. As His contemporary followers, Jesus challenges us to do the same today promising that “inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these, you did it to Me” (Matthew 25:40).
Below is a list of 12 suggestions to consider for helping the poor, hungry, and homeless among us during the Christmas-New Year Season. Apart from donating funds directly to a charity:
- Educate yourself and your children
- Provide food, warm clothes, blankets, and hygiene products
- Volunteer at a local shelter or charity
- Offer to pay for laundry service, haircut, and/or manicure
- Smile and offer a warm greeting and conversation
- Provide food to their pets which are often the only companion they have
- Contact local elected officials urging them to combat homelessness
- Offer employment to those willing/able to work
- Introduce them to organizations that provide shelter, showers, and medical attention
- Pack a bag or backpack with essentials items
- Allow them to make a cell call to a family member or loved one
- Invite them to a House of Worship
A Blessed Christmas to all of my Frankly Speaking readers!