Daily Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC
Saturday, March 13
By Dona McConnell, Director, Beacon of Hope, April 19, 2019
Under the Bridge
Read: Luke 19:10
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
On my way to work at Beacon of Hope I pass under the bridge overpass where many homeless gather. People are hunched on the side of the street with blankets wrapped against the bitter cold. There are people of all ages and races, males and females, young adults and children. Extreme poverty does not discriminate. Sometimes it’s especially hard to bear, like a recent day when I spied a young boy, maybe 12 or 13, wearing socks but no shoes.
I hear all the arguments. “They should get a job.” “They want to be homeless.” “They are all on drugs.” All I know for sure is that no one under the bridge is happy. No one grew up dreaming of this life. No one “prefers” being cold and hungry.
So what can I do? I can’t help everyone, but I can try to love those who are sometimes hard to love. During Lent, as we reflect on Jesus’ life and death, we can reflect also on his lessons of unconditional love. Jesus’ mission on earth was based on inclusion. He loved the poor, the homeless, the lepers, the sinners. No one, not even the thief on the cross beside him, was beyond the reach of His love. As a follower of Jesus, am I not also called to love those whose lives I may not understand?
This Lenten season, I’ve decided to pray every day for someone under the bridge. I’ll pray for them to escape the cycle of pain they’re in, regardless of the reason, and to get another chance at a life of blessing. I’ll try to remember that we all deserve equal measures of mercy as children of God.
God of love, grant us the ability to love others, especially those who are lost in the world. Help us not to turn away from their pain, but to follow Jesus’ teachings and love them.