Today I won’t take a shower. I won’t brush my teeth. I won’t put on deodorant or makeup or brush my hair. I don’t know where I’ll eat lunch or dinner or any meals tomorrow. I won’t sleep in my warm bed. I won’t talk with any of my friends or use any kind of social media/contact with the world. And I’ll wake up tomorrow and do it all again.
I am homeless. And I will be until next Wednesday.
I’m choosing to be like the people whom God has burdened my heart for. I am choosing to live on their streets, eat where they eat, talk with their community. I am taking on this persona that people turn their eyes from — shun, ignore, look down upon.
I won’t experience snowy nights under a bridge. I won’t experience being pushed around by the police because I have a warrant for my arrest. I won’t experience the hopelessness of abandonment and the abuse that many homeless youth come from. At the end of it, I will hardly know more than you about homelessness, but I will have tasted it, and I know that will change things.
Will you pray for me?
I know this won’t be easy. I am a very clean person, so even the thought of not brushing my teeth or washing my face is slightly terrifying. But I know God will be with me and I know it will be good. I want God to open my heart to the things he sees. Pray that my perspective will change and that I’ll be able to focus on what God has for me instead of what I think I need.
Will you see me?
Not literally. I don’t think that’s allowed. But for five days I will be like the people who make the streets their home. Society will perceive me the same way.
When you are walking in your city and see a group of teens smoking and loitering; a man or woman who is dirty and hurting and broken; someone who is hungry, holding a sign — will you see them as you see me?
Will you see these people as the people that they are? Will you smile? Will you help restore their dignity? Will you forget to question if they are lying and if you can afford to be fooled? Will you choose to love them anyway?
I’ll be back on Wednesday, March 23, but until then I’ll be disconnected. Thank you for praying, friends. See you in a week!