Well! My Jane and I are officially homeless, on purpose. We closed on our cabin in the woods last Monday and headed toward the setting sun and my Mother-in-laws home in western Pennsylvania.
I am one fortunate Son-in-law to have Helen for my Mother-in-law. Helen is, and has been since I’ve known her, a most gracious hospitable and kind human being. On her 90th birthday I was asked to say some ‘nice words’ about my Mother-in-law by one of the ladies at her church. That is one of the easiest assignments I have been given as a speaker. In her life journey Helen found a way to combine the best attributes of Mary and Martha, sisters who were friends of Jesus in the New Testament. (Speaking of being homeless!) One story about the sisters finds Jesus visiting their house and Martha coming out of the kitchen complaining that Mary is sitting in the living room with Jesus instead of helping in the kitchen. Jesus, explained that sitting with him was the more important activity at the moment and Martha needed to ‘chill’. (My words not the scriptural version.)
My thought, in the birthday speech was that Helen found a way to be at Jesus feet and still prepare the meal. In our shared journey my Mother-in-law has constantly been present and had dinner (lunch, breakfast and snacks) prepared on time without exception. I am a very fortunate Son-in-law to have Helen for my Mother-in-law.
Back to being homeless; We are staying a week with Helen. We celebrated Thanksgiving with her eating ham for lunch and Apple Dumplings for supper while watching Thanksgiving football games (Go Steelers!).
Friday was the real Thanksgiving gathering with all of Jane’s siblings and most of the off-spring present for the traditional Turkey dinner. On Saturday we put the house back together and began decorating for Christmas while visiting with Jane’s sister who had arrived the afternoon before from Indiana. We watched lots of football (Go Nittany Lions!) shared the Thanksgiving meal again and hung out enjoying each others company.
My Jane and I will be heading south on Tuesday to arrive on time in Florida for our oldest grandson’s birthday celebration. Hopefully, we will only be homeless one more week before closing on our new home in Kissimmee, Florida. (We are trading Deer and Turkey for Alligators and Snakes.)
We are fortunate to be homeless for only a short period of time. We are blessed to have family willing to house us during our transition. We thankfully have income for other housing when needed.
Others in our communities are not as fortunate as My Jane and I. Others do not have family acting as a safety net. Some families are not even talking to each other. Others have no income and no means of procuring one. Some folks can not imagine a time when they won’t be homeless.
A few folks prefer to live in the streets.
All these folks need gracious hospitality and kindness from those of us who are not homeless. I hope you will commit yourself to reach out and touch a homeless person. Donate to a homeless support organization or volunteer at a soup kitchen (The teens and me receiving instructions before the soup line opens.) or give items to a thrift shop. Make it your goal to make life a little more hopeful for one homeless person this year.
We all cannot be the mix of Mary and Martha that is Helen, but we all can share gracious hospitality and kindness with one homeless person.
See you next time.