the weblog of Alan Knox

God loves the homeless

Posted by on Feb 6, 2008 in love, missional, service | 6 comments

A few months ago, in a post called “Reaching Beyond the Bubble“, I copied part of a poem that I saw on “The Thin Edge“. The poem touched me at that time, and it still does today. Here is the poem in its entirety:

I am homeless
by Jamey Mills Wysocki

I came here because my house burned down last night.
We lost everything. We had no where else to go.
I am so scared and don’t know where to go from here.
Would you reach out to me?
I am homeless.

I am here because my boyfriend beat me so bad.
I was afraid for my life and for my children.
If you could see my battered body and broken spirit,
Would you reach out to me?
I am homeless.

I am here because my husband passed away,
and I could no longer pay all the bills.
I tried so hard, and could not do it alone.
I have five children with me. We are scared.
Would you reach out to me?
I am homeless.

I am here because I lost everything in a divorce.
My wife, my kids, my home.
I was broken financially trying to fight to keep them.
I am trying to put my life back together and I am scared and alone.
Would you reach out to me?
I am homeless.

I am here because I ran away from home.
I couldn’t take my father’s abuse anymore.
I have no hope left. I am scared.
Would you reach out to me?
I am homeless.

I need to see God’s love right now.
I feel so alone and scared.
Would you please pray for me.
I am homeless.

I had planned to post something else today, but yesterday, the person who wrote that poem (Jamey Wysocki) left a few comments on my blog (go to the post above to read all of her comments). What she said was too good to leave in the comments. So, here are some of excerpts to round out our understanding of this poem and homelessness:

I am a christian mom, who due to domestic violence found herself in a situation that I never thought would happen to me… I wrote that poem so that others could see the different situations which brings a person to homelessness. And there are many different situations which can bring someone to homelessness.

Homelessness can happen to anyone. I never thought it would happen to me, but it did.

And I seen homelessness in a way that I never thought possible. I seen the different faces of homelessness. People tend to stereotype homeless people, but in reality, it can happen to anyone and I wanted others to see what I had seen. So I wrote this poem “I Am Homeless,” based on my experience of being homeless and what I had seen while in the shelter. I seen someone there who had lost a home in a house fire, another was there because they lost their job and could no longer afford the payments on their home. I met a single mom who was escaping an abusive relationship. Can you imagine what it must be like to have no place to go? To have no family who can help you? It’s a scary place to be and I will never forget that experience… or the tears and the anguish I seen in the eyes of those who had no place else to go.

She also left this comment in reply to Aussie John’s remembrance of the love and care that his wife showed to the homeless:

“I have great memories of my wife putting her arms around a prostitute, setting a bath for her, washing her clothes and loaning some of her own, making a bed for her and welcoming her at our meal table.” (Aussie John)

That is showing the love of God. It’s not about money because money only provides temporary relief. But love…that lasts a lifetime and has the greatest impact on another’s life. To love another regardless of their situation in life. That’s how God loves us…unconditionally. He loves me when I don’t deserve it. He loves me when I have failed and made mistakes. He loves me. He is LOVE.

God loves the homeless. He loves the homeless family whose house burned down. He loves the girl whose boyfriend beat her. He loves the widow and orphans who could not afford to pay the bills. He loves the divorcee who lost everything. He loves the abused runaway. He even loves those who are homeless because of bad decisions, addictions, mental illness, and even laziness. God loves the homeless.

However – and I’m being as honest as I can here – I have never allowed God to love the homeless through me. When I read Jamey’s comments and I remembered the first time I read her poem and how it affected me, my heart was broken again. I desire to be a channel of God’s love to the least – to those who cannot repay that love – to those who may think that God has turned his back on them. That’s what I want, but that’s not where I am.

I think Jamey’s poem will help me. Why? Notice the title of this blog post: “God loves the homeless”. It is easy to make general statements like that. It is easy to group people together according to a certain criteria and state that God loves that group. Jamey’s poem pulls the individuals out of the amorphous, faceless group and makes them real people. Yes, God loves the homeless, but more importantly, he loves each individual person who happens to find himself or herself without a home.

It is one thing to look across a faceless blob and state, “God loves you”. It is another thing altogether to peer into the eyes of someone who is hurting and say, “God loves you”. The eyes looking back at you may require proof – and you may be the proof that God sends – I may be that proof. Am I willing to look into those eyes? Am I willing to peer into the eyes of the family whose house burned down, or the young girl who was beaten by her boyfriend, or the widow and orphans, or the divorcee? Am I will to state that God loves them, and then demonstrate that love as Aussie John’s wife did?

Yes, it is much easier to state, “God loves the homeless”. It is much more difficult – but also much more like Jesus – to look into the eyes of the homeless person and show them that God loves them. Like I said earlier, I’m not there yet.


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 2-6-2008

    OHHH – convicting! I’ve never allowed God to love the homeless through me either. And your post, while wonderful, is very poignant and convicting. I’ve never sought out the homeless in order to share God’s love. My husband and I have sought out children in children homes, we’ve sought out prisoners and families of prisoners, but why not the homeless? Why not the group that would most likely mean me opening my home and my life? I have a hang up here and need the Spirit working in my life . . . as evidenced by my reading of Ausie’s wife and the thought of “O, I couldn’t do that.” Sad, and even shameful, but good to see yet another shortcoming and be challenged to grow.

    Thanks to you, Jamey & Ausie.


  2. 2-6-2008

    That is a beautiful poem. I’m reminded of time years ago when I was homeless in California. I was hanging out with some friends when a bunch of “Christians” came though with tracts and bullhorn yelling at us and basically telling us we were going to hell. I remember we looked at the tracts and just threw them aside. but in the same city a friend and I were sitting in a parking lot trying to comfort a friend who was crying. A security guard approached us. Defensively we appologized and told him that we would leave. He stopped us and said “No, I just wanted to let you know that Jesus loves you” I don’t remember what else he said, but he spoke with us for a long time. I remember that after he left we all felt the love of God.” Years later that still sticks out me as one of the most powerful displays of God’s love I have ever experienced. Much more than the guys with the bullhorns and tracts who treated us like dirt

  3. 2-6-2008


    This post was written out of the conviction that I was feeling. It was not intended to guilt anyone else. If this post was convicting to you as well, then perhaps God is moving in the hearts of many of his people toward the “least” in our society.


    Thank you for sharing that episode of your story. Have you ever written about being homeless? If so, would you post a link? If not, would you consider it?


  4. 2-7-2008

    Alan, thanks for sharing the poem and being “authentic” in where you are at in the journey.

    When we made our move to a new town and a new state 8 months ago, we purposely chose to live downtown (because we do some ministry with the downtown people).

    It has opened our eyes to “poor”. We have not encountered many homeless but a hundred+ who are right on the brink.

    It is our prayer that in some way, we can touch a few lives. Maybe, they can hear the words and see it in our eyes and we may take actions that will have that love showered upon them.

    This poems touches me, as well. Because, I know that at times, when I am serving free meals to those on the “brink”; there are thoughts that probably should not be there. It is a struggle, yet I pray that I will emerge.

  5. 2-7-2008

    point well taken . . . Whether or not God is calling us and me to specifically work with the homeless overseas or not, I do not know. I rather think it is to share with anyone He burdens our hearts with no matter their socio-economic status. But I was struck by my reactionary thought in reading about Ausie’s wife and thinking that I could not do that. It revealed a shortcoming to me, and I did feel ashamed and convicted, and that I need allow the Spirit to do some work. My reaction was not intended to cheapen your conviction or calling. I’m excited for you.

    many blessings,

  6. 2-7-2008


    You said, “It is our prayer that in some way, we can touch a few lives.” I think this is a good prayer for all of us. Thank you!


    I do not think my tone came across the way that I intended it in my previous reply to your first comment. I am glad – excited even – that your response to Jamey’s poem was similar to mine. I do not think that your reaction or your comment cheapens what God is doing in my life or what I have written. Instead, I think your reaction reinforced what God is doing in my life and adds to what I have written about loving the homeless. My intention in the reply to your first comment was to simply say that I did not intend to “guilt” anyone into feeling bad about their reaction to the homeless. Instead, I think it is always best to allow God to do his work of conviction – both in my life and in the lives of others. Thank you for your continued interaction on my blog.