So you want to help the Homeless, the Prostitute, the needy?
I am going to post excerpts straight from the "Poverty" section of this fantastic book "The Revolution".
I loved most of this book as I have told you all previously but this section still speaks to me. I go back to it like a text book to help me do what I do right now.
If you work with the homeless, the prostitutes, drug abusers, the impoverished, I highly recommend you get this book because this is just a sample of the wisdom found in the pages;
"I instruct all of the volunteers who work with TKJ to pay his simple prayer: "Lord let me see what it is that you love about each person I meet." It is powerful. But I warn you, be prepared to have your heart broken.
After the fight was broken up many of them apologized to us for it....Tyrone asked us why we came back. I told him that God doesn't give up on me when I misbehave; He still reaches out in love to save me. The love of God is what compels me to be there.
Bathe the ministry in prayer. Honor and respect the people you serve.
If you want to have staying power as a servant of the poor, leave idealism behind....It is easy to develop a theory about the cause, assign blame, and then say,' If we only did this or that, we could solve the problem.' Idealism is a form of Idolatry because it substitutes something less then the love of God as a solution for a problem. Idealism expects certain, quantifiable results. It sees social ills as a problem that needs to be solved rather than diseases that need to be healed...The cure is simple to state, but humanly impossible to orchestrate. Let go of Idealism, trust and obey God. Don't make ending homelessness your goal. Serve the poor in Jesus name; in so doing, you will help end homelessness. There is always a paradox involved. He that will save his life must lose it.
When I serve the people on the street, I am not there to preach to them. I don't make them sit or stand through a message and a song before we serve the food. These people are not rats, and the food is not bait. The sharing of food and clothing is not just a means to gather a crowd to evangelize. If I were to do that, it would be a con, not love....these people will give you what you want if it means you will keep coming. They have now paid for their meal, instead of receiving it as a mercy.
When they ask why we help them, why we come out in the rain and snow, why we come back after witnessing violence, why we come back after being hassled and threatened by the police, I tell them that Jesus loves them and that He wont leave me alone if I don't do this. His love compels me."
Cranford Joseph Coulter- Founder and director of The King's Jubilee, a ministry to the poor in Philadelphia. He owns Come and See Icons, Books & Art. He is webmaster for www.comeandseeicons.com, www.shoutforjoy.net, and www.orthodoxdelmar.org.