Another Homeless Teenager

If you read my previous post, you know that we had a homeless teenager on our couch two weekends ago.  This morning my son (who works second shift) brought home a teen or 20 something.  He told his dad, “He was going to have to sleep in his car.”  It was raining hard last night–the middle of November.  So, again, I have a homeless teenager on my couch.

I see signs of poverty all around me.  I went to Wal-Mart to pick up a few groceries and cat food.  I grabbed the bag of cat food and noticed that a bag underneath was torn open.  Most of the contents of the dry cat food were spilled out.  There was no cat food on the floor or in the surrounding shelf.  It appears as though someone needed cat food, couldn’t afford it, so they poked a hole in the bag and dumped cat food into their own containers. Since last summer we rescued one dog and two cats that were wandering about.  The Animal Rescuer told us, “People are abandoning their pets because they can’t afford to keep them anymore.  It’s happening a lot lately.”

Another Wal-Mart trip–this time the cupboards and fridge were empty and with three teenagers to feed, not to mention our couch guests, I needed a lot of groceries.  (I avoid grocery shopping until the toilet paper runs out.  Sometimes I think the kids hide the toilet paper just so I’ll go get groceries)!  My cart was filled to the brim.  A woman behind me in line kept staring at the cart and then at me.  She and her husband each had a few items in their arms.  As I was checking out and loading my cart, I prayed, “Father, does this couple need some of my groceries?  What do you want me to do about this?”

I think he just wants me to “see” what is happening in the world around me.  As Christians in America we are used to supporting missionaries, but what if God begins to show us people who are hurting around us?  And it’s not just money, it’s healing as well.  Do we need Capital Blue Cross or the Old Rugged Cross?  Where’s the power when the health insurance tanks with the rest of the economy?  Where are Christians who believe that if God took care of Abraham and Sarah without medical insurance, he can take care of me?

Now, I must admit to you–I don’t know what to do about the boy who’s asleep on my couch.  (It’s an L-shaped couch so my son is asleep on one end and the newcomer is asleep on the other).

What would you do?  Moreover, WWJD?   What Would Jesus Do?

Personally, I don’t know what to do—yet.  But I’m going to “go to the Tree of Life” where God is alive and sees everything.  He knows this boy, I don’t.  He sees the plan, I don’t.  But before I go to the Tree of Life this morning, I wanted to pause here and invite you into my day.  As Americans we’re used to reponding to needs with government programs.  But what if those government programs tank with the economy?  Where is the answer then?  It’s the same place it’s always been–at the Tree of Life.  I hope you’ll join me there this morning and get fresh direction for your day, for your week.  Yield your calendar, your schedule, your interests to God.  It’s a new day!!


About Lift the Cross of Jesus!

My day job is writing--I'm an author and publisher of a number of books. More on that later. But there is nothing of greater importance to me than the early morning hours I spend with the Creator of the Universe. Although He knows everything there is to know, His greatest delight isn't to give us knowledge, but to give us love. My highest joy is to watch the sun rise with notebook in hand and write the words he speaks to my heart. I want to share some of those words with you here . . . words on the cross.
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12 Responses to Another Homeless Teenager

  1. Thank you, Hope, for your eyes that see what Jesus sees and for taking us to the cross. Love you – Marlene


  2. I see a new series of books to touch hearts…is God showing you something new that breaks His heart?


    • Billie Jo, a new series of books . . . I’m putting together devotionals right now on two topics–staying near to the cross and how to draw near daily to the Tree of Life to know God and hear His voice. I’ll have them in Ebooks until God delivers funds for print.

      God is showing me something new that breaks his heart. It’s us. American Christians don’t realize how much we ignore God. He’s not penciled into our day and if he told us to do something next week we’d probably say, “But I’m baking a pie that day!” Or we’d say, “I have a dentist appointment!” Paul told us to live our lives as a living sacrifice. But God is sacrificing–he’s sacrificing all the times he’s called us to come to him, but we’re just too busy to pause and do it. Not to be a “downer” here. But truly, WE miss a lot of living when we are too busy to pause and hear and obey. And GOD misses intimate fellowship with us plus a lot of divine appointments he wants to set up for us because we simply have other agendas.


  3. Sheree says:

    Hope, thank you for God’s confirmation of what he’s speaking…compassion. During the last few weeks, God has been showing me the needs of so many people, that it compells me to be the hands and feet of God. It has sparked a “new” outreach venture for Him.


    • That’s right Sheree! Maybe he’s doing just that. I hope so. Thank you all for your replies, and especially you, Marlene Bagnull for your LOVE. I honestly can feel it and need it. I just said something to Billie Jo on her FB page–if we take that time each day to listen to God (refuse the Tree of Knowing Good and Evil and run to the Tree of Life) then we will get to know His voice. Then throughout our day if we see someone at the checkout counter or work station or school function or whatever, God can help us “see” what he sees. He can tune our ears to hear the cry of that person’s heart.

      Then we simply ask, “Father, what is my responsibility in this? HOw do you want me to respond to this?”

      It’s not hard if we stay connected. Maybe he showed us a verse that morning (or evening) that is JUST FOR THAT PERSON!!! It’s actually fun! I’ve not attained this yet, ladies, but I am striving toward it.

      My friend Henry Gruver has stopped suicides because God wakes him up in the middle of the night to call someone. He’s even been nudged to go to a house where he doesn’t know someone, knock on the door, and the person answers in a bucket of tears and trembling. Another suicide prevented. Another broken heart brought into the Kingdom of God. It is possible to live this close to the heart of God that you begin to respond WITH HIM to the needs around you. IMagine the Kingdom of Heaven blossoming into fullness as the body of Christ does this!!!


  4. This post really struck me, because I recently interviewed author Ruth Jacobs on my Faith Songs blog ( Ruth’s books reveal the “soul-destroying” realities of prostitution. How many desperate kids get sucked into prostitution because they don’t have a compassionate friend like you and your son to give them a safe couch and food? A lot more than we’d like to think.
    God bless and guide your generous heart!
    – Linda


  5. Jean Oathout says:

    As always, this post is a good one, my friend. Thank you for openly sharing with us what you’re up against. I pray you’ll gain the wisdom and understanding that you’re asking for, to know how to handle this, and many other opportunities that come your way.


  6. David says:

    As I read this I had the sudden feeling we’re watching this nation come apart at the seams. It used to be that the people would help one another and not the government. The last few decades the government has usurped the citizens role and gained more power that we lost by doing this. Now the government has gotten so big and interfered so much that citizens are petitioning the government for their states to secede from the union—27?47 of them. (I don’t know if 47 is an update or typo.)

    If we do have an economic collapse we will have to be helping each other any way we can or we will not survive as a people. You’re on the right track regardless of what happens the next few years.


    • David, you’re truly catching what I’ve been trying to convey, although stumling a big perhaps. I mean, since when did God need American politicians or politics to revive a nation? FEMA was so ill-prepared for Katrina, that our government was fiercely criticized for its response. But the church was READY. The church MOVED.

      I have a dear friend who just returned from going to NYC for a weekend. She’s trained in a 3 week program with CRI, Crisis Response International last year, a Christian group that’s preparing Christians to respond God’s way in crises. See this website: I have another friend who’s heading to NYC this weekend with more supplies and more love.

      NO GUILT! NO SHAME! JUST OBEDIENCE! That’s the cry of our hearts. If we go to God to get our daily bread, daily direction, daily fruit from the Tree of Life, we will know how to respond. Americans haven’t needed God. Kids on the garbage dump in India and Mozambique know they’re poor, they know they need God. Perhaps we need to see our poverty before we see our need for God.

      And this next move of God will not flow out of Washington, it will flow INTO Washington and Pennsylvania will be a KEYSTONE STATE in that move of God.


  7. Sweet Hope,

    You are being a sheep, just like Jesus described in Matthew 25. The day is soon approaching when He will separate the sheep from the goats. How? By their works. Our works don’t save us–only the blood of Jesus can do that. But they do show the fruit of what He has already accomplished in our lives. When we are His, we are changed. You are loving others in His Name.

    I can still remember how vividly He brought this home to Tracy and me over 22 years ago. We were actively serving God in church–teaching adult Sunday school, leading worship, teaching children’s church, and more. But all of it was inward to the church–nothing outward to the world. And none of our activities were listed in Matthew 25. We were shocked to see that we needed to feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit people in prisons and hospitals, and take in strangers.

    We knew that the strangers He wanted us to take in would be little ones; we knew He was calling us to adopt. And what a journey that has been! Over 2 decades ago, we followed His call on our lives, and we are the richer for it.

    He keeps expanding the adventure, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

    You know what I’m talking about . . . and it sure sounds like you’re on a new twist of the call these days. Keep up the good work, sis. As you serve “the least of these,” you are serving our sweet Savior.

    GLORY to His Name!

    I love you and appreciate your loving obedience.



    • Becky, God has certainly expanded your ministry through your bed and breakfast in Kansas and your ministry to orphans in Africa. I think that word “obedience” is the key. Mingled with his mighty love He is UNSTOPPABLE on earth!!

      Love you dear sister!


      • Love you, too, sweet sis.

        Have you heard what’s happening in our little town of Buhler? We’re being threatened with a lawsuit because our city seal has a prominent cross on it, along with the words, “Traditional Values.” It’s been on FOX and other national news channels. I’ve thought about you so many times because of your passion for the cross and the Savior who died for us there. Our new t-shirts say, “It’s all about the cross.” AMEN!

        Praying for wisdom for our leaders and for boldness in our people.


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