I was driving back home from the office yesterday afternoon and while sitting at a stop light there was a guy standing at one of the off ramps across the intersection. He was holding a card board sign I could not read and had several items stacked up lying on the ground. I am unsure of how long he had been out there but any length of time would have chilled him due to the wind and cold. As I watched, a lady in a white SUV, about 3 cars back in line, rolled down her window and held her arm out the window. I thought she was going to give him something and he started walking over closer to her vehicle. That is when I realized she was scolding him. She laid into him and if the vicious hand movements were any sign of the severe toungue lashing he was recieving, well, I feel sorry for the guy. At that point, my light turned green and distance filled the gap between myself and that situation, but I was still thinking about what I just witnessed.
A white, middle-class lady (assumed middle-class) felt so much anger towards this guy that she pursued an opportunity to chew him out for what? Did she even know his circumstance; did she make a judgement call based on his current situation? How did she have the right to judge this man before even hearing him out? I can't for the life of me even comprehend confronting someone for their lot in life when I have no prior knowledge about the circumstances that led them there. How does this lady have the audacity to act upon her assumptions of this man?
A while back I learned that I am not to allow my assumptions to turn into implied truth. It is unfair and a sin (James). I am not to treat anyone better than anyone else because I feel that I have something to gain from them and not the other. It just floors me to think that we can make assumptions about a person that lead us to chew them out for their place in life. That is ridiculous. Now, if the man had been acting crassly or harassing the people in their vehicles, that would be a different story. He was not. I wish I would have been able to drive up the exit ramp and pull up next to the lady and ask her what she was thinking. Although, I doubt that a satisfactory answer would have been gained.
I also think that those who are homeless have to be careful not to make assumptions about those who are not. Often times bitterness can swell up within while those without many possessions long for the things of those with them. Either side can fall into sin quickly if they let there assumptions take root. James gives us a great warning in the book that bears his name.
Some time ago I lived homeless. Not because I had to, but because I felt led to do so. I was becoming prideful concerning my lot in life and all the things I had acquired. I was praying and looking for ways to humble myself before the Lord. Through a series of events and several discussions with the Lord, I felt that if I wanted to gain an appreciation for the life I have and the things the Lord has blessed me with, I need to live without them. Now, during this time all I had was the clothes on my back, a blanket and 5 dollars that was to be used for one meal. The only rule was that money was not to be accepted and work was to be done in exchange for food alone. I will spare you all the details here, but that was the most growthful time in my spiritual life and really made a way for me to see things differently and appreciate what I had been given as well as give me a desire to see better days for the Church.
You can read my homeless account here.
-What are your thoughts on the above situation?
-Do you think the lady was right in her actions?
-What do you think should have happened?
-How do we deal with homelessness?
-Did anything impact you from this post?