Posted by: Cameron Raulston | July 18, 2008

Uncomfortably Comfortable

Every day, I work in a homeless shelter.  I give out toiletries to men and women who do not have a place to live.  They sleep on pieces of cardboard, in campsites in the woods, behind bushes, under bridges and some stay in shelters.  Their stomachs sometimes ache painfully from lack of food.  Many of them probably had terrible childhoods with abusive or neglectful parents.  Many are addicted to drugs and alcohol.  Some of them battle serious mental illnesses.

I have a soft bed to rest in each night.  I have loving friends and families.  I am comfortable.

I have very little practical way to relate to the people I serve each day, and I often find myself going through the motions–being among the homeless but not really present.  I realized this today as I started reading a new book called Under the Overpass by Mike Yankoski.  It’s about a college student who decides to live on the street with homeless people for five months.  Part of his goal was to leave his material comforts in order to see if his faith in Christ was really what he claimed it to be.

This hit me like a train.  I am comfortable.  At times, I am even complacent.  Even though I serve and talk with and listen to homeless men and women daily, I forget to see them as Jesus Christ does and get caught up in what I’m doing or how I feel.  Mike Yankoski puts it this way:  “If we are the body of Christ–and Christ came not for the healthy but for the sick–we need to be fully present in the places where people are most broken.”  I am in one of those places here at Jeff Street, but because of my comfort I am frequently not fully present.

I want to love God more.  I want to be “fully present” in the lives of broken people so I can love them, learn from them, and share hope with them.

Heavenly Father, I beg you to strip me of my comfort in any way you see fit.  Remind me of my brokenness and how you’ve healed me so I will love and share that healing with the broken people I am around every day.  Amen.

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Responses

  1. yay! u finally started reading it!! …….also…my prayer is the same.

  2. Wow, amen. You are so right. At times I feel like I am simply performing my “duty” by going out and ministering to others around me. I absolutely love the book Under the Overpass, it completely changed my view on a lot. Not just my view of those less fortunate but my view of how small my faith is, I feel at times that my faith is dependent on my possesions. It amazes me to see those that have nothing with a faith that seriously could move mountains, if that was God’s will. So, I am seriously considering serving the homeless for the remainder of my life here on earth. I am looking for an avenue to pursue this passion and the more I read about the HOPE program the more I am encouraged to give up a summer for this program. There is still a lot of prayer and meditation that needs to be put into it, but reading about your honesty and what God is really doing in your life is extremely encouraging. The HOPE team will be in my prayers. Continue serving Christ with your every breathe.


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