Brett and I pulled up to a gas station near our home in Las Vegas . When Brett got out of the car a man approached him asking for gas money to get home. Brett opened his wallet, pulled out some bills and gave them to the man. As Brett gassed up the car he watched the man walk into the closest liquor store.
When we lived in Las Vegas, I saw a lot of homeless people. Anytime I went somewhere I would invariably see a homeless person. Pushing shopping carts with their belongings, overdressed with all their clothes, carrying suitcases, panhandling for money. It is a good thing I rarely carried cash because I am a sucker for giving a few dollars to someone who asks, even when I knew I shouldn’t. I always felt better just buying someone a meal. I once took a wrong exit off the freeway and saw a part of Vegas I hadn’t seen before. The part I didn’t really want to see. The homeless were even more desolate looking on the east side of the strip. Just lying around, crashed outside of broken down stores. I still feel like crying when I think about it.
I can still clearly see one homeless couple in my mind’s eye. They were older, probably about 60. He carried a large hiking type back pack and pushed his wife, who was asleep and covered with a blanket, in a wheel chair. She looked so peaceful and happy. Then there is the story my husband shared with me about an older couple he had seen one day while driving. I don’t think they were homeless but the situation was equally as sad. He said when he saw it, he didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. He saw an elderly woman dressed in a chicken suit who had apparently just finished her shift as a sign waver. Her husband stood up from the bench he had been sitting on, picked up his cane, took her arm and they began walking away together.
I think most of us feel sympathy for the homeless. Some people do something about it by volunteering at a homeless shelter or occasionally buying a homeless person a meal. But, do we feel the same about homeless hearts? Hearts without Jesus are empty and searching for fulfillment.
Is your heart like the man Brett met at the gas station who took the money and went straight to the liquor store? Are we taking God’s gift of life to us and squandering it on empty escapes into non-reality? It doesn’t matter if you live on the east or west side of Vegas. If your heart is without Jesus, it is homeless.
“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. Revelation 3:20 NLT