We are coming to that time in the year when life for those without a home becomes increasingly difficult. As temperatures drop and the threat of rain is more prevelent, the reality of life on the streets takes an even more painful turn. To understand this further please read this linked 'New Statesman' article about Tony, a member of our own church family who was homeless less than 2 years ago.
Once you've read it, it might shed some light into the difficulty and reality of a life on the streets. There is a huge stigma attached to living on the streets and many people make incorrect assumptions about the circumstances that lead to a person becoming homeless. Tony's comments in the article shed some light on this.
Jesus himself alluded to thoughts that some who are homeless might have themselves in Luke 9:58 when he said, 'Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.' Jesus reached out to a number of society's homeless in the Gospels and never turned them away.
When we consider the scale of homelessness in London, a normal response is to suggest that there is little we can do to make a difference. But then there was the story of a boy on a Californian beach who came upon hundreds of thousands of starfish washed up on the shore. He started to throw them back in to the sea one by one. A Pastor came along and said, 'I admire your tenacity but it's not going to make much difference is it?' The boy responded by picking up another starfish, throwing it back into the sea and saying, 'Well, I'm pretty certain it made a difference to that one!'
The Cornerstone Night Shelter starts on Thursday November 6th. There are still opportunities to serve that need to be filled. We still need a few cooks and more people to help set up. I highly recommend coming along on a Thursday evening, if for nothing else than to talk with the guests and hear directly from them about their experience on the streets. There will be 30 guests each week and while there will still be many on London's streets, let's make a difference for the ones that we can.