devozine

Spiritual Practice

Homeless for the Holidays

Mary and Joseph fled to the land of Egypt. On the way, they rested. Mary found shelter in the arms of a sphinx, the symbol of another god and another people. Her husband slept in the sand a few yards away. The exhausted donkey slept standing. This is the scene that Luc-Olivier Merson painted in his 1879 picture entitled, “Rest on the Flight into Egypt.” It’s amazing to think that the world’s hope lay in the arms of a teenager, defenseless under the desert skies.

How fragile and uncertain Mary must have felt! Far from home and caring for God’s child, she much have wondered about the future. Would it always be like this—running and hiding, raising her baby in secret with no family or friends? What would Joseph do for work? What would happen if they got sick?

Homeless Teens Today

devozine Sleeping on street in Atlanta 250184_220445457976837_7311651_nToday thousands of homeless teenagers live on the streets of our cities. Many have run away from a chaotic home, often in the summertime. They hang out on the fringes of society. They greet one another, looking for a connection and a sense of peace.

They quickly find out that money is hard to come by. Begging is one humiliating option and having people pay them for sex is another. The streets are dangerous. Too often drugs become a refuge from their new reality. With drug abuse, the absence of decent food, the lack of a regular shower, and the utter loss of dignity, even the strongest teens get worn down. But when winter comes, they are so far down the road that there is often no turning back.

Do you wonder what causes teens to lose their way in life? Do you wonder what you can do?

Homeless Holy Family

Manger2 FTR TSP 116142664It helps me to know that Mary and Joseph were homeless, far away from anyone who would help them. The Son of God, when he came into the world, got hauled off in a hurry to the desert. His life was at risk. His parents hardly knew what they were doing, and it’s amazing that he survived. The Son of God was homeless.

It comforts me to know that God has gone, in the flesh, to the lost and forsaken places. God has been to the places we run to, and God will go anywhere to find us.

So when I think of homeless teens, I pray that Jesus will find them. I also give thanks for minsitries that shelter and help them.

Homeless for the Holidays

How awful it is to be homeless for the holidays! But Jesus knows what it’s like. And many dedicated people reach out to help in his name. Especially at Christmas time, remember your peers who are lost and wandering the streets of our cities. You might want to get in touch with a shelter and find out how you can help.

 

devozine Reflective Guy FTR TS 80467216DIG DEEPER

Set aside ten minutes tonight to remember homeless teens. As you lie in your bed, imagine them on the streets, hungry, lonely, and tempted to give away body and soul to get by.

Pray for Them: “Keep watch, dear Lord, over those who have not place to lay their heads tonight. Save their lives. Draw near to those who are alone. Lead your people to find them, and lead them to your people. Amen.”

—from devozine (November/December 2002). Copyright © 2002 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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