Saturday, November 29, 2008

Two Tribes Collide

Yesterday was Thanksgiving. We had a great time at the Arnwine house. GA made a wonderful pumpkin pie to go with our Turkey. After dinner we went out to check on our homeless friends. We found out that a couple of churches got together and made them all a wonderful dinner and gave them new jackets. They were all in a very good mood and we were so glad they were taken care of.

While out we decided to go visit our Indian friends. They own a liquor store and Thanksgiving day is always a busy one for them. When we got to the store we started to talk and enjoy each others company. After about 10 minutes one of our homeless friends walked in, saw me and gave me a hug saying, "happy Thanksgiving beautiful lady."

Just then I turned and saw my Indian friends. I can't really explain how they looked. It was a mixture of shock, surprise, dare I say disgust. At that moment I felt my cheeks get red and then my Indian friends asked, "do you know him?!" I shook my head yes feeling my face get hotter as I watched my friend buy a beer. He was unaware of what was going on and waved happily as he left...

After he walked out my friends quizzed me:

Do I give him money?
Do I let them get close to me?
Don't they bother me?
Don't I know they will spend any money I give them on beer?

I tried to answer them, but it was a one sided conversation. My friends didn't like what they saw and they didn't want to hear my answers. I tried to explain that I think God loves all men. That all men are made in God's image and no one is incapable of a new beginning, a new life, redemption.

When it was all done I think the thing that bothered me the most was that I got embarrassed. I've gotten use to smelly hugs, toothless grins, and conversations that don't always make sense. However, this is the first time I was associated with the homeless tribe and the truth is I didn't like it. I don't want to be in their tribe. I want to visit, and do good things, but I don't want to be associated with them.

The bottom line is this, its easy for me to talk about Jesus. Its much harder to live like Jesus and have His motives. When I take the time to look deeply into my heart sometimes it just stinks.


Anonymous said...

I think that our society puts a huge weight on who we know. Who we know determines the jobs we get and the opportunities that are forwarded to us. So associating or knowing the homeless puts us in a darker light. When in reality having that compassion and love for all people should put us in a much brighter light.

A Bishops Wife said...

You are "about your fathers business". You have surrendered to God him self.

Through this circumstamce, God is just reminding you that He is in you doing the work. He chose your vessel to work through out of all the others He had to choose from. He chose YOU.

"Many are called, few are CHOSEN".

Doesn't it feel wonderful to know you are CHOSEN?

Jen P said...

I would have moved to see the friend embrace you the way he did. And I would have been embarrassed by my own reaction which I fear might have been one of hesitance and reluctance and discomfort. I think your association with the homeless is commendable. your readers know you and we love you. Your heart is far from stinky! You are human and we humans will always pale in comparison to Jesus. But what I love ab you is that you do it anyway and continue to do it. Merry Christmas!