Every day I drive from the beaches of Orange County to the cement jungles of Los Angeles. And every day I drive past torn tents and boxed cities that house 58,000 of our homeless brothers and sisters in Christ.
For two years, I’ve driven past a homeless man in a particular encampment. But one day, his entire encampment was removed, and the street swept clean. The sight of the camp was replaced with a disturbing void.
I had one thought, “Jesus knew his name, but I didn't.”
I behold misery and sorrow every day on my commute and fail to respond to how unfortunate brethren depend on me (see Psalm 10:14).
I used to have a heart for serving the homeless. When I lived in Phoenix, some friends and I would hit the streets to sit, talk, and learn the names of our homeless brothers and sisters. I had a heart and eyes to see the external reality of their lives and their interior soul.
Now, I'm almost callous to their struggle.
I recently visited a pharmacy in the midst of a migraine and was stopped by a homeless gentleman who saw my pained face. He asked me for a favor and his favor was to see me smile.
He saw me. He wanted to make sure I was ok! Why did I only see his external circumstances? Even then, why was that not enough to act with compassion versus assumption and prejudice?
Am I alone in this awakening? I don't believe I am.
Brothers and sisters, we need to live today’s Psalm, “Do not forget the poor, O Lord!” Let us see the poverty in everyone, ourselves included, and be moved by compassion and act with love.