What we can learn from a Homeless Man
The thing that metaphysically calls us Cains is our defining of the word brother. How we answer the question "Who is my brother?" makes a different in the level of hypocrisy in which we walk out our Christian faith.
Do we limit brotherhood to those that share my immediate parents; or those the share my personal opinions; or those that share Christian beliefs? Or is brotherhood something greater?
I contemplated a time when I was likewise faithful, not long ago when the ordinances of justice were the badge of my Christianity (Isaiah 58:1-9 . It’s not that I thought giving to my brother made me a better Christian, but that I felt that giving to my brother was a byproduct of who I was as a Christian. But somehow I had gotten away from loving my brother, fallen in the perverted abyss of my needs and my quality of life, and my stuff and my feelings and my opinions. And because I failed to do what I knew was right, James 4:17 as I spoke to these brothers in Christ the Holy Spirit was twisting the sword of my spiritual guilt right through my very heart. John 16:8
On the street of Philadelphia, one of the largest homeless communities in the United States, we see our brothers every day, trying to invoke our mercy and remind us of our alms with cardboard signs that sum up the issues of their frustrations. Not every one of our brothers in need are crazy or drug addicts, though even if they were, our responsibility would not change. But the signs don't invoke our love for them, they ignites our disdain for those who need us. yeah some of use will give a quarter, or if exceptionally generous a dollar. Where most of swerve into the far lane causing the driver next to us to nearly crash just so the we can avoid our brothers.
We justify our failure to give alms, by saying things like;
“I don’t have any change” or “they will only use the money for drugs or alcohol” Or the always pious “I’ll buy them something to eat, but I won’t give the money” yet we can’t remember when the last time we actually bought our Brother in need something to eat.
Today, many Philadelphians justify their lack of care for their brothers on Mayor Nutter’s ban on giving money to our brothers, or feeding our brothers on street corners and on taking food into the parks so that our brothers can have a warm meal. Proverbs 14:3 , Proverbs 29:7 What type of administration bans helping your Brother? the irony is that we are called the City of Brotherly Love