It is estimated that in a given year 3.5 million people, half being children, experience homelessness in the US. (Nationalhomeless.org)
This picture was taken looking through an empty beer bottle. We often think that if we look through their eyes that we'll find a life muddled with alchohol; but is that really the whole picture?
You can choose to look and see that they want the kind of change that fills their empty bottle or you can choose to see that they want the kind of change that fills another, more profound emptiness. What do you see?
I wrote a song based from conversations I had with friends I made amongst the homeless of Auckland, NZ and when I shared it recently with a man currently living on the streets he confirmed that it is a true testimony of what they experience. So I'd like to share that with you.
Verse 1: Wake up but not sure why. Stomach pains from last night. Don't want to go anywhere and be the focus of other's stares, but what choice do I have? Starve or face the shame? So I go back to my normal spot, lay my hat down for spare change. Hundreds of people passing by and I've only made three bucks. I wish I had a sign to say, "I'm not trying to get drunk." But I don't think that they even see me here. I am just trash that's yet to be picked up.
Chorus: I'm homeless not a criminal. Human not a sideshow. If I had another way I wouldn't be sitting here. But your blank faces don't help me and your coins don't do much either. There has to be a better way. Where are the hands of Jesus?
Verse 2: Am I just a pebble in the church's shoe? A check mark for Christian service? Does Jesus even see me here? Am I really unimportant? I know I've made some bad mistakes but these mistakes have left me here in chains. And I can't seem to break away; all I need is an escape. I see your angels. Do you see my demons? They're choking and they're mocking me. Can't you see me screaming?
Tag: I once heard a man speak of hope in God above. But why should I serve a God who isn't here below? In passing they say, "God bless you." Is that some kind of joke? Because I've been here for seven years and the blessing isn't coming.
Homelessness is everywhere. It shouldn't even exist, but here it remains. What are you going to do about it? What are you going to choose to see and do with what you see?
Pictures that didn't make the cut: