We’ve all heard of homelessness. In the current economy, the possibility of
losing a home or not making enough to pay rent, bills and still have enough for food and medical needs has become all too real. People who never dreamed they’d face living on the streets find themselves wondering how to avoid it. For many families, a few missing paychecks could leave them homeless.
But living outside of four walls isn’t what starts a homeless heart. In fact, those who live on the street long term more than likely acquired the components long before they ended up without a home. Circumstances may be the reason people become homeless, but situations don’t explain why some remain on the street for twenty years or more.
Here’s the kicker. Where I live doesn’t keep my heart from having signs of homelessness. I can be wealthy and live in the most luxurious house imaginable but deep inside have the same emotional and spiritual state of someone with a permanent address under a bridge.
Over the last two years, I’ve worked on a book titled Homeless Hearts and recently finished the first draft. As I work through the manuscript editing process over the next weeks, I’ll share tidbits through my blogs. This journey has been an interesting one for me as I’ve faced homeless areas of my own heart.
The book isn’t as much about living on the streets as about the issues of the heart prevalent in many people. We all have the propensity for the attitudes and behaviors seen in those who live without a home. I loved reading the book Same Kind of Different as Me. I agree with the truths found in Denver and Ron’s words. Strip us down to nothing and the majority of us look very much alike. Poured into a large arena without possessions, telling which person lives on the street and which doesn’t is problematic. In some respects, the two groups think, feel and act much the same way.
That’s what a homeless heart is about—looking inside for elements that keep us in bondage no matter where we live. As some people perused the beginnings of my manuscript I often heard the phrase, “I can’t tell if you’re writing about homeless people or all of us in general.” Ahhh—isn’t that the point? Don’t we all have the possibility of entertaining a homeless heart?
Much has been written about the orphan spirit and poverty mindset, indicating the general public wants to overcome these beliefs. Yet these are the building blocks for a homeless heart. With a dear friend of mine who spent time working in a night shelter, we identified these plus five more signs. For each of these, I had no trouble applying them to people who didn’t live on the street.
During the course of researching and writing, I found within my heart elements of homelessness, and spent time learning how to overcome them—both spiritually and in practical ways.
I invite you to return to my blog over the next weeks, or better yet, subscribe so it comes directly to your inbox. As you read, honestly ask a tough question. Do I have pieces of homelessness in my heart?