All Talk, No Show

One of my blogging friends (“Filosofa,” AKA Jill) often posts about “Good People Doing Good Things” (something we need to be reminded of daily in this dog-eat-dog world we live in).

Recently she posted the following. As I read it, I couldn’t help but wonder how many of us would have done what this person did. And I especially wondered how many CHRISTIANS would have stepped in to help.

Anthony Johnson, of Sussex, England, was homeless, living in a tent with no job, no money.  But even so, Anthony wasn’t lazy … he really wanted to earn his own way, but life hadn’t been kind to him and he found himself in this situation.  Anthony posted a note at a local bus stop …

“I will do a trial for free to show how I work. I don’t take drugs or drink. I will also do dog walking/minding, window cleaning, shopping, gardening, car valeting/washing, housework, cooking. Anything to earn a living and make life seem worth living.”

Just so happened that a young lady named Charlotte Howard noticed Anthony’s note as she was waiting for a bus and sprang into action.  First, she photographed the note, and Mr. Johnson’s tent near the bus station, and then she posted the pictures on social media.  Next, she set up a GoFundMe account  that received more than $3,200 (£2,466) in just over 10 days.

Ms. Howard had planned to use the money to buy Anthony a small RV, or caravan as they are called on that side of the pond, but since a local charity was inspired to donate a caravan to Johnson, the money will now be used to provide him with supplies, food, and additional resources to make up for his last nine years of living on the streets.

But the best is yet to come.  A local landscaper, Nelson Smith, contacted Anthony and asked if he would be interested in starting a home repair business with him, so Anthony is now employed, has a place to call ‘home’, and has a job too!  All thanks to a young lady 16 years of age, who decided to step up to the plate and help another human being. Lots of thumbs-up to go around here, to Nelson Smith, to all the people who donated goods or cash, and most especially to Charlotte Howard!  See, folks, this is what it’s all about … people helping people.

There are people living on the streets in nearly every town across the globe. There’s no argument that many of them have turned to alcohol and drugs in order to face their dismal existence, but there are others (like this man) who need — and want — help to become a productive human being.

While we ALL can do our part, it is Christians in particular who have been commanded by their leader to love and help the less fortunate. But how many do?

Instead, (too) many of them stand on street corners, waving their bibles, and screaming to all that pass that they “need Jesus.” Or they go door-to-door with bible in hand to “convert the lost.” Or they become part of the blogging world and essentially do the same thing.

In other words, more often than not, it’s all talk and no show. Isn’t it time for action?

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Plight of the Porta-Potties

” … everyone on this earth has to go to the bathroom.”

Somewhere in the southern California city of Anaheim is a dusty encampment that’s home to hundreds of men, women and children. They live in tents and other makeshift shelters and do what they can to survive.

Recently, an important part of their simple living was taken from them when the city confiscated three porta-potties and locked them up in a storage facility. Now, these homeless individuals have nowhere to relieve themselves except in the bushes, or in buckets, or in the cramped privacy of their own tents. (Read more about their plight here.)

There is an old proverb, used by believers and nonbelievers alike, that goes like this: “There but for the grace of God go I.” 

The truth behind this statement is obviously being ignored by those who live in comfortable homes with plenty of food on the table … and one or more (indoor) bathrooms.

What adds to the insensitivity of this scenario is the porta-potties were purchased with donations and set up by local activist groups. In addition, money was raised to have them pumped and cleaned.

Yet “the city” in its all-knowing wisdom removed them because the installers had no permit! As one city official commented, “The toilets pose a health and safety concern and were placed … without permission.” (I couldn’t help but wonder about the “health concerns” that will result when people must relieve themselves in nearby streams and river beds.)

As the homeless advocate pointed out: “Sickness and disease will spread among homeless men, women, and children that cannot wash their hands. This is a group of people that is being left to die due to their government’s depraved indifference.” (emphasis added)

I apologize if this posting has offended your sensitivities. However, if you can come up with a way to avoid the natural process described in the opening quote, you may be in line for a Nobel Prize.