The homeless hands and feet of Jesus

Last Wednesday Gerardo* stumbled into our community center reeking of alcohol and unable to stand up straight.  We struggled to complete our typical homeless assessment with him, even though it took twice as long due to the state of intoxication.  He stumbled back out of our office an hour later.  (Just a normal day at Kingdom Causes.)

Friday morning, I walked into our community center and found Gerardo, along with a few other homeless neighbors, helping April stuff the Fall newsletter mailer.  He proudly announced, "I've been sober for 1 day!"  I could tell by the severe body shakes.  It actually seemed unfair to have him stuffing envelopes with such trembling hands, but he wanted nothing else but to volunteer alongside his friends.

Mark, our newest staff member, recognized the need for detox for Gerardo and spent the morning calling around to find a program that would take him.  After several frustrating calls, he was able to find one place that would take Gerardo, but unfortunately they couldn't take him until Monday morning... and he had to be sober.

Now, for an alcoholic with decades of constant drinking, staying sober for three days is almost impossible (and even dangerous).  Most people wouldn't be able to survive that long without treatment.  But, when Gerardo's friends learned that he had a place to go on Monday, they rallied around him and swore to us that they would do everything in their power to help him stay safe and sober over the weekend.

One person promised: "We'll take him with us to dinner and Celebrate Recovery tonight"

Another person promised: "I'll make sure he gets breakfast and showers at Calvary Baptist in the morning."

Another person promised: "We'll stay with him to make sure he's sleeping okay throughout the night."

This morning, Gerardo was dressed in his best clothes and waiting at the door of Kingdom Causes for his ride to the residential program in LA.  As promised, his friends had stayed with him 24-7 over the weekend making sure he was safe, fed, and most importantly, sober.

All too often we forget that our homeless neighbors *can* give back to the community.  We see them as "needy" and keep them categorized as the focus of our charity and good deeds.  But, you'd be surprised how many of them are starving for the opportunity to help others and serve the community.  I am so moved by this particular group of homeless friends and how they cared for their friend.

They were the hands and feet of Jesus to Gerardo.

*Name changed to protect his privacy

Christina BirkeyComment