This morning I watched my neighbors get evicted. They weren’t even home and all of their things were taken from their home and put by the side of the road like trash. I have seen several scavengers come by, taking their picks, profiting off of someone else’s shame. I’m talking about other neighbors, not just people innocently driving by thinking it’s trash day- which it’s not- people that probably watched the whole thing happen and then waited to go take their pick from the wreckage. The really sad thing is that they didn’t even have that much stuff- a couch, a few mattresses, and end table- which is now gone, a few trash bags filled with stuff. I know one of the girls living there- Toya. Around my age, two kids under 5, broken, in need of God, in need of love. And now she’s homeless and it’s freezing outside . I spent some of my morning rearranging Josey’s room so that her bed would be right underneath the vent, I’ve been concerned that she’s been getting too cold at night. Where will Toya’s children sleep tonight? Maybe a warm bed if they’re lucky, but maybe not. God, where are you in this?
I think of the big brand-new house being built across the street- made to look old and historic so as to fit in with the neighborhood except the brick columns so you know the house is newer. Maybe they want to make sure people know that they built the house, maybe not, I don’t know them. Maybe they just like brick.
The rich and the poor live on the same street, my street, Washington Avenue, Fort Worth, Texas.
There are days when I’ve wished that I could draw some distinguishable line across our street. From our house and over are the people who take care of their homes, have a little (or a lot) of money, and don’t have the crazy messed up lives. Or perhaps a flashing sign outside all the homes where everyone has it all together. That way, when people come over, they’d see that we’re marked, one of the good ones. What a sham. What arrogance. What idiocy.
Not today though. No, today I want to run toward that pain, be associated with those poor, broken souls, my neighbors, who’ve had more pain than I what I have ever known. Oh tattered world, have you ever heard that there is a God who loves you? He fathers the fatherless and puts the lonely in families. He loves the poor and shames those who don’t. He hangs around with the lowest of the low, the scum of the earth, the tired, the needy, the battered, the whore, the tax collector, the drunkard, the sinner. You. Me. He has compassion on all he has made. And trust me, he did make you, fearfully and wonderfully. And he knows you now and he sees you.
Underneath it all, we’re all fragile. Behind the sparkle, behind the shine, we all just really need Jesus. Thank God he extends his hands to the entire world and makes the nations glad. Oh Love, come and cover over it all.