There is a story in the Bible about a homeless man. He is a leper; an untouchable ill, and hurting man. He approached Jesus, against the law, and pitifully said, “If you are willing, you can heal me.” (Mark 1:40) And then the best thing happens. Jesus is “moved with compassion” and heals the leper and the man gets to go back to his home.

We can learn a lot from the life and story of Jesus, about homelessness. Not only was Jesus a “homeless person” from birth (born in a manager to young parents on the road), after his baptism and until his crucifixion he had no home. So, we can conclude that there are two categories of homeless persons.

  1. Smelly demon possessed leper homeless persons. And
  2. Jesus and his disciples.

Let me tell you about my experience with being homeless. Today, my husband and three of our children are living with a friend and his children. We have been without our own “house” for three months and getting into our own “house” is probably still at least six months away. Although I am not on the streets living in a box or living with demons among the catacombs, (Mark 5: 1-20) I still feel “homeless”.

At this time last year, I lived in a 4 bedroom 3 bathroom split level home in the suburbs. I paid the lease payments on two new-ish vehicles and was able to buy my daughter a beater car to get around town in. Tom and I both had decent jobs. We purchased two used vehicles for Tom’s oldest daughter and we were just transitioning his other daughter and her boyfriend out of our home, as they had been staying with us for the summer. I paid full price for my children’s school lunches, Evie was in ballett and Bailey was in martial arts. And we had more to give. We were far from homelessness, or so we thought.

Today the scene is very different. I just finished the medicaid application and SNAP benefit application for our family. I completed free/reduced lunch paperwork at the kids’ schools and accepted tax-payer funded transportation for my children so that they can get back and forth to school. I fought with my husband about getting the one vehicle we share, back from his cash-job early enough, so that I could get my teenage daughter to her job. I had to ask a friend from church for a ride to my interview. A part time gig that pays a third of the amount hourly that I am accustomed to making. I prepared dinner hurriedly, not in my own kitchen, and fed my children not at my own dining room table. I cleaned up our dinner mess, trying ever so hard to put things back where they belong not in my own cabinets.

So today I feel like that leper, and I just want to go home. Don’t get me wrong, the people in our lives that have stretched out a helping hand are the “Good Samaritan”. They are answering the call to provide this Homeless love to my family in need. They are caring, “compassionate as Jesus” people. I am grateful to them and I know that it is through their service to us, that they are being blessed. But I can’t lie, my pride is getting the best of me. Today I fall into the first category of homelessness. And I am struggling to get to the point where I can be pitiful enough with Jesus and say, “If you are willing, you can heal me.”

I am struggling to humble myself as the leper did, because I don’t feel ready. I know once the healing happens I won’t get to go home. Deep down I know that He is calling for me to be in that second category. Still homeless…but a disciple, not a leper.

~Gem the leper

A stop along the road from New Mexico last spring.
At “The Cross” in Groom Texas.

For a much more detailed account of Jesus and the homeless go to:

https://www.thinkingfaith.org/articles/20110203_1.htm

Also to read a little mare about how families face homelessness due to The Sex Offender Registry laws go to: https://ww1.womenagainstregistry.org/father-of-5-says-life-on-sex-offender-registry-has-forced-him-and-his-family-into-homelessness

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