There is a beauty to madness going on today, there is a darkness as well. I’ve witnessed in person and online both aspects of humanity in the recent week, some to one extreme or the other. I’ve witnessed fights over toilet paper, not making that up, and I’ve witnessed strangers handing out food to the needy. I shook a homeless man’s hand today, Coronavirus be damned, sometimes you just need to show a little compassion to a fellow human being. The man asked me for work when he seen my loading lumber at Home Depot. He didn’t ask for a money payment, his words to me were, “Sir, if you got any work or if I can help you with your project, I just need some food, and am happy to give you hand.” I gave him a tract to my church and told him to swing by the food pantry in the morning, and I would hook him up. Then I shook his hand, and the look of surprise and then the look in his eye, was priceless. I don’t think anyone has shook his hand in a long time.
The bible says to be kind to everyone because you never know who you’re meeting it could be a heavenly host. Hebrews 13:1-2 “Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” There is a level of compassion in all of us that I think society, or at least western society has trained us to hide away. If you go to some parts of the world, it is nothing for people to invite strangers into their home for the night. I seen this firsthand in the middle east, and have heard stories in eastern Europe and Africa. There is this since of brotherly love there, this urge to help someone in need that no longer seems to exist in the west. Something that this virus seems to have enhanced in all of us.
Now, I’m not saying go bring the homeless into your house, but there are people being forgotten. I know there is stigma around the homeless of drugs and alcohol, or plain laziness that has dragged them into the streets, but I also know from personal experience that this is wrong. My first year home after leaving the army I was homeless and sleeping under a pier in Biloxi, MS. I can tell you for a fact, no one, offered to help, not even family, no one wanted some homeless guy on their couch and eating all of their food. I couldn’t find a job because I had no house, and I couldn’t find a house because I had no job. The homeless shelters had limited space and at that time you couldn’t use their addresses as a home address for employment applications, like they do now.
I went from 215 pounds of raw military muscle to 145 pounds of skin and bone, eating sometimes only once a week and walking mile after mile every day, searching for something better. How I came out of that is a story for another day, and may become a book soon, but I often thought many times, if this was Iraq, or Afghanistan, someone, somewhere would feed me, let me wash, and give me a place to sleep. It’s a dark side of our society I have never forgotten, and one most don’t care to think about. Back to the main point of this.
I have watched everything from food, to bleach to toilet paper be fought over. I have seen blood shed over toilet paper at a grocery store. Our society has been reduced to a bunch of selfish pricks punching each over something that they wipe their butts with. I have seen tempers flare, cuss words fly, middle fingers wave like a New Yorker love poem.
I have also witnessed people bringing bags of food to people in need, elderly stuck in their homes and in need being cared for, children being cared for while parents were called into work because they’re essential. I have seen strangers stop to push some one’s car into a gas station, and young men carry bags for old ladies. You see, I know this exists within us, but the deeper we dive into the pandemic, I see more and more people giving this up, out of fear. Fear is now in control, and it is controlling some of you. Wake up, meet this thing on the battlefield, draw your swords and fight for the decency of humanity. Galatians 6:2 tells us “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” It’s time for us to band together and carry this burden on all of our shoulders, and to not lose sight of a friend, in the midst of the battle. Rage on my fellow barbarians, look to the Lord, and be kind to your fellow man. Society is counting on you.
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