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Love and dignity for 'the stranger'
For years, our downtown church was challenged with people sleeping on our porch and being destructive to our grounds. Initially many members tried compassionately to help these individuals, but were unsuccessful in changing the circumstances.
Certainly looking the other way, or “passing by on the other side” (see Luke 10:31, 32) is not loving. Instead, taking the time and effort truly to know the “stranger” as God’s beloved son or daughter is doing much. With love, our prayers go forth to bless all concerned.
I began praying to know how to respond to the conditions of homelessness, addiction, and mental illness. I wanted to know that God’s man can never be without a home—he is constantly cared for in the kingdom of God. It occurred to me that only after correcting my own thought and asking for God’s guidance, could I know how to go forward and perhaps offer the stranger appropriate human assistance.
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About the author
Karen Sevaly lives in Riverside, California.