Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Visitor

Guy shows up at your church one day with a suitcase. It's obvious he hasn't showered in a while. The contents of that suitcase are probably all that he owns. Turns out he's homeless. Friendless, too. The guy goes through about 10 of your chocolate doughnuts and powers down a half gallon of orange juice before the third service on Sunday. You look around and you can see that people are uncomfortable. There's no one in a congregation of many who looks remotely like him. He is down and out and different.

Would he be welcome at your church? Why or why not?


Amy Fanning said...

So is the photo the homeless man, or the churchgoer wondering whether he should welcome the homeless man? Because, and I am ashamed to say it, but I know many women who would squeeze into a full pew next to the man you have pictured, shower or no shower.

At my church, the person would undoubtedly be welcomed by a number of people. Perhaps ushered out to be offered a shower or meal or something, but certainly welcomed. I probably wouldn't see him because I sit in the front row. ;) Got my eyes on Jesus!

Jamey said...

The last two weekends in our church I have noticed such a guy. Tattooed all over his body, nose ring, eyebrow ring, ear expanders, dyed black hair, black clothes with zippers all over them (I would totally forget to zip the most important one;)) - you get the picture. He comes in a sits on the front row and WORSHIPS. He is hugged by others around him and appears to be a regular. I have to admit the first time I saw him I was a little bit uncomfortable. Now, when I see him I see Jesus in places that he didn't "belong" saying things that weren't accepted and continuing to do so becaus he so loved God. I would love to tell you that I am confortable enough in my own skin to have him over for lunch today but truthfully - I am not. Instead I will continue to be inspired by him to love Jesus out loud in my own skin and try not to worry about pleasing anyone buy Him.

Anonymous said...

If you are so heavenly minded – can you offer any earthly good. Turn around at look at the world from Jesus eyes. That’s perspective.
You can welcome someone into the church by letting them come in, but are they truly welcome?
What about the other six days a week. Does God only exist on Sunday?

Donna said...

He would be welcomed at my church and probably taken to The Lamb Center after church where he could get the help he needs. Thanks be to God!

Della said...

Interesting, because just such a person showed up recently at a large Bible study. One of the people present expressed feelings of remorse over failing to really reach out to him. He smelled bad(which I have to shamefully admit is often the distraction that extinguishes any act of kindness or mercy from me) and he did in fact, take home several leftover rolls. If he was not embraced in a time devoted to serious study of the Word of God, I would have to say he would not likely be embraced in my church ... except by a very few. Something to really think about, since we all know exactly what Jesus would do!