Teresa didn’t ask for her mother to die when she was little. She didn’t ask for beatings as a little girl from her father, the man who should have protected her. A little girl should have the right to be brought up in a home filled with safety and love and teachings that will help her to become a strong woman, not to be raised up to be filled with anger and bitterness and not know what to do with all that emotion.
Some children who are raised like this begin to cut themselves to feel the pain and then to let it out. Some try to gain control by controlling the one thing they can, their eating habits. Anorexia and Bulimia then sets in to create even more pain. Some turn to drugs and/or alcohol. Some try and some succeed at suicide. Teresa in her pain became rebellious resulting in her becoming homeless at the age of 14, having no where to go but to the beach.
How does a 14 year old girl, not a child and yet not a woman, make it out there in a great big adult world? She does what she can to survive the best she knows how. Teresa did not witness a good role model in the home as to what a good father and husband should be. As she grew older, she began to pick men that was not good for her, but how they were, was familiar to her. It’s what she knew. As she became older over the years, she found herself homeless again with three children.
There are different reasons for people being homeless. The majority is from bad choices. And if you’ve been raised by people who are making bad choices, choices that have hurt you, the children grow up not knowing how to deal with the negative emotions. It’s inevitable they are going to grow up making bad choices and gravitating towards what they know; what’s familiar even if it is not good.
When you see a homeless person, more than likely they are not and have not felt loved and safe for a long time. This tends to harden ones heart and spirit. Before we judge them from our nice comfy sofa in our nice warm home, let’s think about what we are doing. Are we out there showing them there is a love greater than what man can offer? Are we telling them about this great love that died for them and then conquered death on the cross so that they could live forever in Heaven with God? Are we telling them about the Hope that we have received? Or do we point that imaginary finger in disgust, judging? What have you done wrong this week? How would it feel to have God’s finger pointing at you with harsh judgment? Instead, His Son Jesus Christ holds out his nail pierced hands in love toward you . . . . .and to them.
I wonder if we all would let that love of Christ pour out onto these people, if it would not soften the hardened heart. I wonder if homeless people were loved with unconditional love, taught who Christ is, not just that He is God’s Son, but that He can be their Savior and Lord; if we exhibited patience and kindness, grace and mercy as the Father has shown us, if we could point them into the direction of the cross and then into the direction of more help for their situation, I wonder. . . .could homelessness end? With God all things are possible!
We live in a fallen, sinful world but God didn’t leave us alone to deal with it. Teresa felt alone and tried to fill that with men. It wasn’t until she totally surrendered to her Savior and made Him Lord of her life at the small kitchen table, that she realized He was all she needed. She doesn’t need a man anymore. God may bless her one day with a man, a good man, if He so chooses, and that would be a blessing. But her hope is not in man anymore, it is in Jesus Christ, her Lord and Savior. He has blessed her with forgivness in her heart for others, a good job, a good home, and five children she is a loving, godly mother to and a church home that she faithfully serves in.
Oh people! (I'm talking to myself here as well) We have a responsibility and as believers we’ve been commanded to go tell the Good News. The Bible doesn’t say to just go share with the nice, pretty people in the salon and with your next door neighbor, and the guy in the three piece suit. Jesus came for the sick and dying and these just mentioned may be just that and need to hear the Good News and feel Christ’s love, but so do the ones out on the street, in the alley’s, underneath the bridge, and on the park bench. Even the young, sad, 14 year old girl sleeping on the beach.
If someone is reading this and is thinking, I cannot physically go, then pray. Pray for the people who need to hear, pray for the ones who can go, pray for the Lord to bring them to you. Pray our hearts will grieve for the lost, hurt, and dying, for their eyes to open so that they may see, so that they can say, I was lost but now am found. O amazing grace!