A couple of Fridays ago, I was sitting at a red light and as I looked to my left, I saw a young man of color. He appeared to be a new homeless person. He was clean with camouflage shorts, Hilfiger boxers, and shirtless. As I watched out of my peripheral vision, I could see he was talking to himself. Taking out a small piece of cardboard, he mumbled and shook his head. He started to write on the cardboard, he put the pen down, took his hands to his head, and then quickly released them to the concrete in front of him. Pushing back from the concrete, the look on his face said it all, “how did I get here?” I couldn’t read his lips or hear him but his face communicated it well. He was a broken young man.
Days later, I saw a pastor post a gruesome video in another country. It was so violent, it came with a warning. His caption read “DEAR GOD, PLEASE PRAY.” I watched the video and I thought why do I need to see a gruesome video in another country to pray. My mind went straight back to the homeless man. I thought why aren’t we posting and seeing videos about our people in our streets? The homeless in every city, the hungry ones, shaking their head and trying to figure out how they arrived in their situation. I think we don’t see or posts videos of reality because we may feel overwhelmed with compassion and empathy. We may have to go to work! We might have to get that homeless guy a meal, visit the homeless shelter, buy some clothes for those on the streets. Our efforts would be more than typing “🙏🏼”. It’s too easy to just type in “pray” and close your computer.
Are we doing a smoke and mirror show? Making others think that we are holy and sit at the right hand of God when we jump in those comments and say “pray”. They are just words when the action doesn’t follow. The act of love, compassion, and empathy is the real religion. The good book says…“share your bread with the hungry, to bring the poor and homeless into your home, to clothe the naked when you see him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood.” We need to pray for those suffering in this country and use our gifts, our labor, and skills to help those suffering. Take a video of that. AMEN???