Tag Archives: Homeless

Podcast 22: Alan Graham – Welcome Homeless

I’m thrilled to be having a conversation with Alan Graham on the podcast today about his ministry and his new book! He is an inspiration for sure- funny, down to earth, wise and inspiring. I’m so grateful for his “YES!” to sharing his heart with us! Listen in, you will love him!

You can buy Alan’s new book, “Welcome Homeless” here: http://mlf.org/welcomehomeless/#_preorder-now

ABOUT THE BOOK
Homeless. No other word better describes our modern-day suffering. It reveals one of our deepest and most painful conditions—not having a sense of belonging. However, Alan Graham, founder of Mobile Loaves & Fishes and Community First! Village, is improving the quality of life for a vast number of people by sharing his personal story of becoming more human through humanizing others. In Welcome Homeless, Graham delves deep into what it means to be connected to God, the earth, and each other. In doing so, he shows us the home we’ve all longed for but never had.

Graham wants to engrain the human story in you so deeply that you start being who you were made to be—that you start being like the image from which you were made. In Welcome Homeless, Graham also shares the stories of the homeless, and the stories of those whose worldviews have been shifted by the homeless in a raw, humorous, and honest voice. Home is fundamentally a place of connection and of relationships that are life-giving and foundational, and Graham invites you to make everyone feel truly at home by finally inviting those living on the fringes of society into your heart.

To learn more about Mobile Loaves & Fishes, click here: www.mlf.org You can also find a link to give for Amplify Austin, March 2nd-3rd, on the website.

 

 

 

What can I do?

I was at a dinner party and we started talking about the BEDS program.  This is a program that provides a meal and a bed to homeless people one night a week or month depending on the location.   We have this program in our town and this has been a hot topic since it was first introduced.  Some people are worried that the homeless people will end up loitering in the streets and it will be dangerous for our children.  Some topics bring up more questions than answers and this is one of them.  

Here’s what I’m thinking about now…

If there are no homeless people in your town, does it make sense to invite them into the town for a meal and a place to sleep?  Can this be regulated in a way that keeps everyone safe?  Why do we feel unsafe?  What are we afraid of? 

Are our learned minds so conditioned to reject anyone that is different that we don’t see all that we have in common? 

How do we see Christ in everyone?  Is it naïve to believe we can make a difference? 

Can you imagine the rejection the homeless feel every day?  Can you imagine the fear and the loneliness that defines their existence?  Have you ever been desperate? 

Who told you to fear the homeless?  Who told you to avert your eyes?  Who was your example of how to treat the less fortunate?  Who is watching you and learning from you as to how to treat a person begging in the street?

Have you ever been forgotten?  Have you ever been alone?  Have you ever been afraid? 

The most human thing we can do for another is to have a connection.  To smile, look in their eyes… to see them.  How can I gain the courage to reach out to a person I’m afraid of?  Why am I afraid?

Should I work in a shelter?  Should I take my kids to work in a shelter?  What’s my responsibility for teaching acceptance and love to my children?  Is writing a check enough?  Is giving money really helping?  Where’s the money going?  How can I help? 

Am I a bad person for being afraid?  Am I judging others for being afraid?  Am I a hypocrite? 

If we come from nothing and truly don’t own anything, if the way to access God is to let go of things, to empty the mind, to meet Him in the silence, then aren’t the homeless closer to that than us?  Have we become so defined by our possessions, so limited by our fears, so entwined with our labels, so boxed in by our beliefs that we cannot get to our core?  Are we afraid to look at the homeless because they represent what we would be without our “worldly armor”?  Are we scared to have nothing?  Does this represent ultimate failure to us? 

Who are we without our stuff?

What story about myself am I not willing to let go?

Does the way the world sees me actually matter?

Do I realize what I own is temporary and therefore, not “real”?

Who is the real me, stripped down, owning nothing, not attached to labels, not defined by society? 

Who am I?