Missing the Good Stuff

At first I hadn’t noticed the two beggars standing outside the parking lot at Burger King.  After all, I don’t look for homeless people. All I was doing was attempting to get my burgers during my short lunch break prior to racing back to work.

Burger King was busy so I had to wait for my order and during the wait I noticed the two bums weren’t attracting anyone to their solicitations.  In fact, all who approached the men immediately turned away in avoidance.

No wonder they were being avoided for they were haggard.  They were dirty and mangy and unkempt.  They looked like they hadn’t had a bath in months.  One had only two or three broken teeth with matted yellow pus looking eyes that hinted of jaundice.  The other beggar was a slightly bent over fellow who possessed a halting limp.  He’d drag one foot as he pushed off on another.  However, the commonality of the two of them was that they were disgusting.

“I think we’ve investigated this place enough.” One beggar said to the other.

“We’ll send our report directly to Michael.  The Christians in this area are NOT receptive.”

The beggar with broken teeth shook his head.  “Too bad.  All the other angels were really counting on this group.  It’s a shame our news will reflect such opposition.”

And with a few moments, the two beggars vanished, ascending into the Heavens with their report.


3 thoughts on “Missing the Good Stuff

  1. I recently read the book Under The Overpass by Yankoski. It is sorta autobiographical mostly. Yankoski and his buddy dropped off the grid and went drifting for Jesus mostly as an exercise in experiencing homelessness in America. They hit the streets of 5 major US cities over the course of 5 months. They were young college students doing a self-styled urban plunge.

    95% of the book is descriptive and simply recounts interesting experiences. It is 100% Christian – in that they sought to serve Jesus with every step (even though it was not a ministry per se).

    In fact, the only parts of the book I didn’t care for were the 1-2% where in the midst of various reflections Yankoski attempts to be prescriptive. I don’t think his experience taught him what to do for the homeless, necessarily.

    Anyway, the part of this that relates specifically to your post is that Yankoski and buddy were not truly homeless. Oh… they left home behind temporarily and lived the life authentically for 5 months alright. He describes their smell, their wounds and scars, and all that – so yeah… they lived it. But they were tourists despite that.

    And the thing is: when regular people, working people, tax-payers and church goers etc… encountered them, those regular folx had no way of knowing these guys were not really homeless. After all, they looked, smelled, endured, and even 3/4 behaved the part. (I say 3/4 not to suggest limitations, actually, but normative homelessness is not Christian – does not pray to Jesus necessarily or abstains from drug, alcohol, unwed sex and those virtues…. No. All that is up for grabs with most street people, but not with these two. But how could you know that unless you spend time with them talking and watching?)

    So… these two angels from God encounter regular folx as homeless people all the time. A very small few treated them with care and discovered they were Christian – authentically Christian. Very few. A very few fellow homeless people did, and a very few Church people did. Very few. By far, most people just saw bums and either turned away (for the most part) or engaged on a limited basis. Some giving limited care (usually in hopes that they would go away) and some others giving insult or ordering them to leave the area.

    I posted a passage of this kind on my blog a few days ago from the book. I wondered, since the book wound up in Christian bookstores, if any of the people they met happened to read it. I wonder if they recognized their own interaction with these guys from what they read.

    Your post gives an apocalyptic version of that for us to consider.

    I think it is quite likely the most important thing all of your readers read all day – maybe all week. And I hope they will meditate and pray on it. Because how we treat the “least of these” brothers, is how we treat Jesus himself. At least that is what Jesus says.

    Thanx for this.


    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s