Where Does Your Heart Lie

  I was looking at photographs the other day, of homeless or underprivileged children. The photographer was trying to create awareness, and attention to this ongoing problem in our world. He was smart enough to know that people tend to be more sympathetic towards small children and any suffering they may go through, as opposed to any other age group. And, as was the expected effect, I was saddened, beyond words.

However today, it had me thinking a little deeper, into the state of the human condition. The pictures I saw were moving. It led me to think about something I saw once about homeless people living under a bridge. No one was taking pictures of these people, except to draw attention to what an eye sore they were. It bothered people, who were DRIVING past to go to their air conditioned offices, to have to see someone in that state. The people were not asking for money, they weren’t even asking for food…they had signs asking for a job. They didn’t want a handout; they wanted to EARN their own way. But instead, they got a petition started about them, because people driving passed didn’t want to feel bad about driving past them. Imagine…they wanted to feel good, so they had to NOT eliminate the problem, but to not have to SEE the problem. I suppose it would be different if I said this was happening in another country, because we tend to only care about those causes when it is politically correct, and we are expected to care. How many opportunities does God have to give us, to show love to others? Would it have been more difficult for those people to drive past a 5 year old living under the bridge?  Where is our compassion? What has happened to our hearts? Why have we gone cold? Are we ever thinking that the man under the bridge may be trying to find work for a family, which depends on him, everyday? And all we gave him was a slap on the hand, saying “looking at you reminds me that I am not doing what God meant for me to do”. I’m not saying that the people who drove past were bad people, just that they weren’t showing compassion and love to one of God’s creatures…and don’t we know by now that we are supposed to love one another?

Of course, the real problem is that we never put ourselves into any one else’s shoes. We never think about how hard life must be for that person, or his family. We never think about how humbling it must be to have to stand under a bridge all day long asking some one to give us a chance to earn our own way. There are people in this country that think it is embarrassing to not have 250 cable channels, or to get a cell phone turned off for non-payment; never mind having to carry a sign under a bridge. And we think God is looking down on us, smiling?

We are so quick to pass judgment on people, and there appearance or circumstances. We REALLY believe it could never be us. We need to remember, most likely, that man wasn’t born homeless. Things happen, people lose jobs, homes, and cars…the thing that make us feel that we are better than the next person. How long would you feel this way, if you were trying to support a family…with the wrong LOOK? Never mind not having a car, or the only car you have is the one your family lives out of. Do you know that if a homeless person lives out of their car, that the state will take away their children? And instead of helping…we judge; saying things like people “like that” shouldn’t have children. We all are victims of circumstance…just because you believe you have it all doesn’t mean anything…that “belief” is an illusion.

What lessons are we teaching our children? Remember the most important lessons, are the ones NOT spoken…but observed. Why do we only see homeless or hungry children on the commercials asking for money? Because those organizations know that we, as people, think that an adult…could have made better decisions. It is my deepest hope for mankind…that God DOESN’T know the intentions of all of our hearts.

The important thing to remember is this…it is a new day. We can wake up today, and decide to do the right thing.

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