Spiritually addressing homelessness
October 21, 2008 · Updated 4:05 PM
The communitywide support for the residents of Tent City at the United Methodist Church has truly been heartwarming to witness. The willingness of those in a church, synagogue or civic group to prepare 100 hot meals for each of the evenings that Tent City is here is remarkable. Members from my church, the Christian Science Church, have also prepared and served a meal, in addition to giving individual donations.
I am also grateful to join with many in prayerful support of the residents of Tent City. I pray daily about eliminating the root cause of homelessness by not only asking for God’s help, but by seeking to understand that God’s presence and power can uplift and inspire those who are in need. I read in the Bible how the concept of home was sought after by the children of Israel. I read David’s comforting words of God’s care for us in the book of Psalms. I read how Jesus lifted up those without hope, how he fed thousands, how he healed despair.
In some ways, the characteristics of homelessness can be experienced by anyone: insecurity, despair, hopelessness, fear, loneliness, rejection, discouragement. These states of thought are prevalent in our society. No matter who it afflicts or whatever form it takes, however, homelessness and its symptoms can be addressed in our thoughts as well as through our charitable assistance.
I pray to eliminate and eradicate any thought that would limit society and lead a person to homelessness. In my prayerful practice, I find it helpful to see mankind as God’s reflection, unbounded, limitless, free from fear, complete, safe, secure, capable and fully entitled to succeed. In reading Mary Baker Eddy’s book, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” I deepen my acknowledgement of God’s care for all of us: “God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis.”
A home is characterized by a strong foundation, shelter, comfort, security, warmth, sustenance, a place and center for love and joy — qualities connected to God and spiritual ideas from God that can be affirmed and identified with. We can all pray for our neighbors to feel this closeness to God, no matter where they call home.
Kristin Jamerson is a member of the Mercer Island Clergy Association.