Where to Put Our Home
By Barrie Fox of Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, England
And behold I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that you may learn that when you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God. —Mosiah 1:49, Book of Mormon RAV
In today’s world, street scenes remind us of the growing number of homeless people in our towns and cities. High unemployment, the struggling economy, health crises, family breakdowns, and drug abuse all play a part in the blame.
Recently, I heard an interview with a young girl and her divorced mother who could not find affordable accommodation for any reasonable time. Asked why they had this problem, the girl said, “Me and my mum do have a home together, but at the moment we just can’t find anywhere we can afford to put it.” That often sums up life for many in the homeless community today.
Churches and charitable agencies do what they can to help people in need, but it isn’t always easy. Our congregation tries to offer some support where and when we can, but lasting solutions are hard to find.
Many people experience some measure of need, and perhaps even failure, sometime in their lives. However, we need to remember that no failure, big or small, is final until we stop trying or lose hope. Some measure of success is often closer than we dare hope. I try not to be afraid to keep asking God for help for one purpose or another, or even for one person or another. Prayer is essential for comfort and encouragement.
Prayer for Peace
Help us, God, to better understand and help people in their moments of need. Help us have a greater willingness to go beyond the moment and assure them we will not forget tomorrow’s need.
Spiritual Practice: Abolish Poverty, End Suffering
Read and reflect on John 21:15–17 as a meditation. Direct your mind to places where people have no homes. Think of the wars and natural disasters that destroy the homes of refugees. Be aware of the hungry and homeless who wander the streets or live in shelters. Let the images fill your mind. Offer a prayer for those who suffer. Imagine Christ is tending those sheep. Think of ways you might end their suffering as part of your mission. Throughout the day, carry in your mind the voice of Christ saying: “Feed my lambs…tend my sheep…feed my sheep.”
Today, God, as I give to relieve an immediate need, I will also consider what I can do to address the system that causes that need.