In the early morning hours, as I drive into work, I pass blanketed masses on the sidewalk. I see them huddled together under tarps, blankets, their worldly possessions collected in old backpacks, shopping bags, and small carts. They tend to blend into the unnoticed parts of the city, or the parts that people don’t want to see. Like the windblown newspapers and trash, these people are ignored. Their lives, their stories, their histories, their hurts, go unspoken, unshared. No one comes along to carry their burdens with them or for them.
They are the unwanted, discarded. They will not put up trees, celebrate with loved ones, exchange cookies and gifts. Their stockings will remain empty. Their hands will remain empty, except for the hastily given dollar or coupon for a dollar meal. No one looks them in the eye. No one truly sees them.
I have watched them in the past, taking cardboard from the dumpsters downtown and putting them under stairwells to ward off the cold and protect them from the wind. I have seen the city put up barriers to keep them out and prevent them from seeking shelter.
What are we doing? What are we thinking when we dismiss them and say we will bring into our lives the little baby each Christmas who had no where to lay His head?
Maybe it’s time to empty our hands and reach out to those with nothing to offer them something they have forgotten. The ability to know they are loved, they are treasured, they are precious and prized by God and by you.
And they will know we are Christians by our love….