Monday, September 17, 2012

No Keys


Keys…

Pretty much everyone has a set of keys. Attached to your key ring, you may have a key for your house, work, and car.

So what do we do without them? Have you ever lost your keys? I used to be notorious for losing my keys. Now I’m notorious for misplacing them…difference is…I find them now.

It can be so frustrating when it’s time to leave and for one reason or another, my keys aren’t where I normally put them. I can’t leave until I find them. How do I start my car? It’s even more frustrating when I discover I’ve already put them in my pocket or my purse and I’ve been searching for them.

It was close to Christmas, last year, and I stepped outside to say goodbye to my friend and her daughters. My daughter thought we were leaving so she locked the door behind us and shut it. We were locked out. No problem. My husband had hid a spare key.  

So I thought…he had hid it shortly after he had been in a car accident. His memory wasn’t doing so well and he could not remember where he hid that key. My daughter and I searched and searched, but to no avail. I had some Rubbermaid bins filled with coats still out in the garage. And since we were freezing we were able to put some on. It became a stressful situation since I had company coming over for dinner and needed the time to get ready.

I used my neighbor’s phone a few times and was able to get a hold of the owner. Since he would be a couple of hours I went and sat at my friends for a while. I got to enjoy her company and my daughter got an extended play date.

When the owner came he tried all the keys he had for our place. None of them worked. We had the locks changed just a few months before and he didn’t have the new key. So…he set up my daughter in his car with a junk food picnic, along with a few fruits to appease me and we waited for the locksmith.

Finally, after the locksmith came we were able to get back into our place. I hid a spare key in case it ever happened again and rushed to get ready for our guest.

I still remember how it felt to stand outside of my home, in the cold, without my coat, purse, phone, or my car keys. I had no way to feed my daughter if she got hungry and no bathroom. I also remember how it felt to not be able to do things I wanted and needed to do that afternoon. It was frustrating and disheartening.

We were so fortunate to have so many reach out a helping hand to us. And be able to get back into our house.

This last week, the pastor of our church spent twenty four hours walking in the shoes of a homeless person. He was guided by someone in our church, who used to live on the streets for years, until he started stopping at our church on Sundays for a cup of coffee. When he met Jesus, his life was changed forever.

While they were sitting down at a park downtown, they talked to a man who had lost his wife and two best friends in an accident. Shortly after that, he had a stroke. After that, his company downsized. After that he lost his cars, his house…he is now surviving on the streets.

The thing that struck me the most in this conversation was when he said, “It hit me when I stood outside my house and didn’t have any keys.” He had no keys to a house, car, or work.

If only briefly, I had a glimpse at that helpless, lost feeling, but I had helping hands and was back in my house by the end of the day.

He is not and neither are many others.

There is a misnomer about the type of help available for people in this situation.  It is there, but very limited and not always easy. I find it frustrating when the government is donating 650,000 to 1,000,000 million dollars for an old building now deemed a landmark to be renovated when so many people are struggling.

Our Pastor talked about the parable, told by Jesus, of the Good Samaritan who helped a man who had been robbed and left to die on the side of the road. In the parable Jesus explains that the man lying on the side of the road is our neighbor. And we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. It’s the second greatest commandment.

Maybe you have no idea what to do. But it’s important to know not all the people begging for money are looking for enough to get their next fix. There are people out there like that; there are also those who like to live on the road. But we are in a time when people are desperate, losing their house, and some have nowhere to go at night to lay their heads. If they sleep in the parks they get a ticket and possibly brought to jail. I mean where on earth, does the city expect a poor person, to get the money to pay for the ticket? Can’t they find another way to deal with it?

If you don’t want to give money to them, you can give money to an organization that is helping the homeless.

You can give bottled water, a gift card for a nearby restaurant, a cup of coffee or a blanket. Right now our church is putting together boxes so we can feed the homeless on Sunday afternoons and give them some things to help them.

If you don’t want to do any of those things, here is a very powerful suggestions right from the Bible says, 2 Chronicles 7:14
…”if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

May we pray to start healing our land? It is not hopeless. God is really good at restoration and redemption.

May God bless the people of this country and bless those who are struggling.

 

No comments: