Thursday, May 19, 2011

Beyond the walls

I was exiting a building the other day and saw a very diverse group of people... different races/ethnicities, some disabilities... I thought wow, now this is really a neat thing - a bunch of diversity and I'm surrounded by it. Too bad I was late (as usual) to get somewhere.

But before I left someone said, "yes, all these homeless people were just waiting here for their bus and no one knew what to do with them."

They seemed fine to me - much like any other person coming or leaving the building.

Another time, in a different building, I was using my walker and it was too hot and it was a bit too far. Everyone seemed to leave. In this "borderline" part of town, there was a woman, her baby, and a man. They definitely didn't look rich. But they were the ones who helped me get my walker in the car. Everyone else I knew had left.

One last example - I left an appointment. I was the last of the day, it was at least 85 degrees, and it was the end of the day. The people I saw at the appointment were still inside the building. A lady got off a bus and helped me with my wheelchair. Again, definitely not rich.

Inside many church walls there are food drives. I bring food, someone gives the food out to people, or the church may donate food. Certainly some people volunteer to serve meals or volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. They may go on mission trips to help people and they may be briefly immersed in that culture.

But what I wonder is, what happens in day-to-day life? Maybe I'm biased/naive and think the people in general, in my church, would embrace diversity rather than make snide comments about people who may, or may not be, homeless. Maybe the people I saw the other day weren't homeless but just didn't have much money. But I know some of the people who make comments and judge a bit - I know these people go to church.

Do they keep their giving inside the walls of church? Do they think they've done their bit by giving a couple cans?

I bet there are times when I also judge. But wouldn't it be neat if we took what we do inside the church walls and applied it to day-to-day life? I think we'd realize there is a lot of beauty out there.

Those people waiting for a bus? They were actually invited to the building to give their input on something. I doubt they were all homeless, but does that matter?


1 comment:

Mary K. Mennenga said...

I do agree, if we (this includes me) would see each person is doing the best they can, with the hand that life has dealt. Juding anyone isn't something I'm qualified to do for I too am flawed you see. As for kindness Aesop I think may have said it best "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is even wasted." The only thing that is within my control is what I say and do.