They know how to do community.
They are grateful for the simple things.
They are content with the least.
Saturday afternoons, I go to the homeless community in downtown Santa Ana. It's actually just a strip of benches and grass outside the courthouse, where around 100 homeless lay their heads at night, and spend the days together. I passed out bags of watermelon, and water bottles, and held simple conversation with them. They are quick to reach out their hands and say "thank you" all at the same time; assuming you want nothing to do with conversation or relationship. They are used to people passing by without a casual "hello" or "how are you?". When I started to ask each of them their names as they received their watermelon, they got so awkward and tense. A few responded, and others looked habitually to the ground and ignored me. When they realized I was genuinely initiating conversation and not just passing out food, they began to open up.
As I hear there stories, my heart gets overwhelmed to share the love of Jesus with them. They have nothing. They need everything. That's what He can give them.
Last week, I sat on the concrete next to an older man named Jeff. We talked about his life, how he got to California, and his history with the church. The part that captured my heart was when he began to share about his family, and specifically his siblings.
He is someone's little brother.
He is someone's son.
My eyes filled with tears as I imagined my own little brother. What if he grew up, and people passed him by on the streets without a simple "hello?". He has so much to offer the world, and he deserves love. What if days went by where he never had a conversation with someone? What if he went days without food? And no one ever considered his needs?
It was then that God gave me a heart for the homeless. Each one is a son or daughter of God. I can't begin to imagine the Lord's amount of grief for each of his lost children, compared to my human heart tears for Jeff. He is loved by the Creator of the Universe, how could I not love him as well?
I am just like them.
My home isn't on this Earth.
I am a child of God.
I will love them, just like Jesus does.