Christmas 2016

January 2016

Christmas and a roomy stable

I’ll be home for Christmas

It starts out, “I’m dreaming tonight, Of a place I love

                Even more than I usually do

                And although I Know

It’s a long road back”

This song, recorded in 1943, was written for those away protecting us and all that we hold dear.

I am thinking of how this song must settle in the minds or our homeless. Some are from places a long way off and won’t have the resources to get back. Some will have left or been asked to leave a place reasonably close or even a few blocks away.

I recall many years ago, high school age, living away from home and walking, one Christmas Eve, to the place where I was staying. It was later in the evening and I could see in the windows of houses I was passing. I was walking in slush, poorly dressed and had just got off a job which paid very little.

Caught up in my own survival I can’t say I thought about being uncomfortable or for that matter of what I was missing. I do remember though, how the lighting and movement seemed to represent some kind of action and environment I should be missing.

All through the year we are bombarded with all of the things we need, to make ourselves acceptable to the rest of the human race. As quick as we get that precious thing we are told it is old, tacky, out of style and needs to be replaced with ,,,,,,,,,, something different. During the Christmas time, we are reminded even more of what might be missing from our lives. For some, this time of year can drive them even further into their problems.

The homeless people never stop passing the candy store. All they see is unattainable to them and if something is given to them, there will be little chance to have it very long.

I am sure those soldiers of a time when “Ill be home” was popular, would have loved a simple card from home.  Even with all the electronic media we have today, I expect a hand written, paper card still has special meaning.

As for the homeless, it breaks my heart to be cleaning off the bunk of one who has passed, and find a trinket or special card, well worn and dirty, marks of just how much it meant.

I don’t feel in a position to be giving advice but do something. Not just something quick, without thought but do something which you feel will be a lasting gift.  It could be as simple as a word, a smile, shared coffee time or a card. Invite them to your church dinner or Cantata but don’t put them in a situation which would embarrass them.

It is truly a long way back for many of the homeless. Jut getting through their addiction can be an almost impossible road but with that there is the problem of being reestablished in some kind of community.

I feel we need a city or community for the homeless and a place where they are able to establish some kind of roots and begin to exchange with others who are healthier and have more to give.

This City or community I am talking about doesn’t have to be the size of Manhattan but simply a building with enough room to accomplish a little more than sleeping and a bit of outside room for outside activates. There are times when one likes to feel they are listened to or are the only one who is going to comment on what is being said. Times to move at least, far enough away to feel some personal space and again times when it is so good to have a sort of family, close by.

Because I believe I know some of the homeless, just a little, I will be dreaming tonight. Dreaming and asking God to recognize my dream.