Just Trying to Get Home
Many years ago when we lived in Georgia, God gave me a love for homeless people, and it became a passionate ministry for me. Homeless doesn’t just mean they have no shelter. It literally means they have no home, no family, no food and no love. That’s a lonely life. There were about 100 or so that lived in our town.
Since we were not close to an interstate or major highway other than
US 19, it was always pretty much the same ones and most people knew who they were. Though many tried to reach out to these people who lived on the streets, in the woods, or wherever they could find a place to throw down a blanket, most of them were satisfied to live as they did.
They certainly were not all illiterate, but many of them had been disappointed by someone or some circumstances and just decided to check out of life, as most of us know it to be.
There was one old gentleman that caught my heart. I had seen him walking up and down the boulevard day after day. He seemed to have no purpose in life whatsoever. He carried a big stick. From time to time he would shake that stick up in the air, seemingly at God, as if angry at Him for something that no one knew. He never talked to anyone and would barely speak unless you just looked him dead in the eye and spoke directly to him. The look in his eyes was so empty. Well, that was all it took to make that my challenge.
So, I began watching for him as I rode down the boulevard. When I would see him out, I would hurry to the nearby Wendy’s and buy his breakfast and rush back before he disappeared from the streets. At first, he was very suspicious, but I just kept giving him his breakfast week after week and telling him how much God loved him. He finally got to the point that he would murmur a “thank you,” glance at me and then drop his eyes.
One day I took him a Bible, handed it to him and told him I was leaving him and the city to move to Florida. I told him I would never forget him and would continue to pray for him. I do believe I saw a couple of tears in his eyes. I have never forgotten him.
When I moved to Florida and saw the number of homeless, I was overwhelmed. It was so different because there were different ones every day. Where would I start? Then one day I saw this man by the side of the road holding up a sign which said, “Just trying to get home.” My eyes began to tear up as I said to my husband, “Isn’t that the story of all of us?” Just trying to get home!