I was reading the Indy Star today and came across an Indianapolis event that I really respect.

The Indy Homeless Connect program had its first event yesterday, an Open House of sorts for the city's homeless. 900 people showed up for this first event. This seems to be an Indianapolis manifestation of a larger national effort to encourage these programs.

So, this event wasn't your typical "Show up, get a pair of gloves and a bowl of warm soup and leave" outreach, and that's what I respect about it. The best way to describe it, I think, is that the participants were treated with dignity. Along with the typical handing-out-food-hats-and-gloves, they were able to get free massages and hair cuts. They could make free phone calls to family and friends. They could get legal & behavioral health couseling. Medical, vision, and foot care was available, as well as information about jobs and housing. There were children's activities.

An effort like this makes me happy. It's beautiful, to see the downtrodden, forgotten, and poor being offered beauty and dignity and love and encouragement and hope. That's what the Kingdom of God is all about. These are the people that are first in line in Jesus' Upside-Down Kingdom.

Micah 6:8

He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

Zechariah 7:9-10
This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.'

This was a beautiful picture of mercy and compassion. That's my happy story for today.

1 comment:

Ashley said...

Those are really good thoughts, Joanna. I think we often forget to respect those we're trying to help - they're people just like us, and in God's eyes they are no different than us. That's really neat that a city like Indianapolis can realize that too and do something about it. I hope that all 900 people left better off than when they came. Thanks for sharing.


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