The following is a response to my blog post “Shame and Homelessness” from a homeless friend of mine who wishes to remain anonymous.
I understood that my experience while traveling was more of a simulation, but I appreciate his insight on how being truly homeless can really test your faith.
fyi: There is a significant difference between simulating Homelessness and being Homeless. In simulating Homelessness one may have an idea of when it will end which enables one to feel a bit more secure and confident about their future. Their faith may not be tested as much. Many of those who are actually Homeless have no idea of when it might end which eats away at his or her hope, security, confidence…and for some–forgetting that Jesus hung & suffered mightily on a Cross–their faith in God. Do you know what it feels like to feel as if God has truly abandoned you?
It always strikes me how just when I think I know Jesus, I learn about some other facet of His experiences. In Luke 9:58 we read that Jesus Himself was homeless. I can’t pretend to have experienced true homelessness and as such fully identify with those that are, but I hope that those who find themselves in the position that my friend described can turn to Like 9:58 and be encouraged to know that Jesus knows their struggles because He himself experienced it.
By the way, when you read this verse in context you see that Jesus states this as a warning to those who want to follow His footsteps! It’s like He’s saying that those who want to follow Him must be prepared to become homeless! How many of us would put ourselves in homelessness for the Gospel?