Christians and other members of religious groups routinely venture downtown armed with food, compassion, and prayers. Many of them return to their homes haunted not only by what they’ve experienced and who they’ve met, but also by the nagging sense that they haven’t made a difference at all.
So, why can’t Savannah’s faith community come together like this? Mystery? Read on to see the “rest of the story”!
I was told at a recent lunch event with some church guys, at their weekly “men’s outing”, by someone who should know, that it has been difficult to get the faith community to come together for anything, much less taking on the challenge of ending homelessness that this man of the faith talks about in the referenced blog post.
I joined with concerned people from all kinds of faith-traditions, representing 500,000 congregants, to hear from leaders in LA in the effort to end homelessness. I met with Muslim imams, Jewish rabbis, Buddhist and Catholic priests, and a vast assortment of Protestant pastors and leaders. We spent zero-time haggling over theological differences. Instead, we focused on the heart of compassion for the poor and the forgotten that is at the core of all our religions. It was heady stuff!
Now we don’t have the 500,000 congregants here in Savannah that LA has, and our homelessness issues clearly aren’t as big or vast as theirs but that really doesn’t matter too much, does it?
There are still homeless people on the streets in possibly the same relation to overall population we have but the statistics like that don’t matter – they just dictate the investment needed to take care of the homeless with the compassion we need to be exhibiting with action & not just the handouts of food, clothing & assorted toiletries.
So, the challenge here is to enable the discussion to start, grow & prosper into action that is real.
We don’t really need to deal with the differences in our religious ideologies – we need basic action, based on the principles of all religions, “… focused on the heart of compassion for the poor and the forgotten that is at the core of all our religions”.
Game On! Come & Get It!
- Homeless People Vote Too (homelessness.change.org)
- Crimes Against the Homeless Are Increasing. Compassion? Not So Much. (homelessness.change.org)
- Beyond The Skin of Humanity, The Flesh is Ugly (socyberty.com)