Friday, December 10, 2010
Merry Christmas and I Hope You Don't Freeze to Death Tonight
The shelters in town turn out the homeless very early in the morning and don't allow them back in til evening. One, I'm told, does not allow them back in until 9 p.m. Our church provides a hot breakfast for the homeless early each Sunday morning. Last Sunday, we didn't have a shuttle van and had informed everyone that they would have to walk. A 30 minute walk in the cold for a healthy person. My wife and I were the first to arrive; it was still dark. In the darkness I noticed a figure huddling in the cold. A homeless man was already there, waiting. I thought it was strange anyone should show up an hour early, particularly due to the walk. Puzzled, I asked him what he was doing here so early. He had on a light denim jacket. I don't recall any gloves. Shivering, he told me he had slept outside all night in an open parking deck. He told me he was "cold to my core."
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and God, it's cold out there. The Christmas season has become primarily an opportunity for further consuming, rather than caring. I know what's on MY list and am hoping to get--and it's not a place to sleep. This is supposed to be a season of giving, not getting. Isn't our entire life, if properly ordered, to reflect our compassion, not our acquisitions? Our culture is all about accumulation; on the other hand, Christmas--"Christ's Mass"-is all about giving, not getting.
So, let's enjoy our friends and families. Enjoy what you get from those whom love you. Give to those you love and with whom you share life.
But, please don't forget--it's cold out there.