Sunday, April 16, 2017

When Is Enough, Enough?

When is enough, enough? Yes, perhaps we should all ask ourselves this question. I have been working with the homeless since 2010 and have come to recognize the tragic hopelessness within which so many people exist. From the challenges of mental illness to the tragic emotional, physical and sexual abuse suffered by so many who find themselves experiencing homelessness. My work surely drives me to ask the question when is enough, enough?

Throughout my various careers, I have found myself blessed by God's grace. My journey has taken me from the poverty of a family of 9 in a three bedroom apartment struggling together to make ends meet. Many other families struggled alongside us and many would not overcome the traps of poverty, violence, and deprivation existing within the world in which we lived. God's grace coupled with a spirit of hope and hard work enabled my siblings and I to overcome our circumstances and find ourselves blessed beyond what we could have ever imagined.

My past helps me understand the sense of hopelessness of those struggling to overcome homelessness and make ends meet, thus everyday I work to give of myself and of what I have to bless others. The father of the Methodist faith, John Wesley, came to a place in life where he answered the question when is enough, enough. He decided that enough was being able to pay his living expenses and all he earned beyond that, he would dedicate to helping those in need. I can't think there is a greater test to our faith and commitment to humanity than to put our money where our mouth is. It is not easy to make such a commitment, but imagine the impact we would have if we all committed to living within a budget that provided for a practical life style and then dedicated the balance of our finances to helping those in need.

Most recently, I have begun a journey towards minimizing my possessions in an effort to maintain a practical lifestyle while dedicating my resources towards helping others. It means being able to help someone pay their rent who didn't get this month's child support, helping someone struggling to get back on their feet by paying their driver's license suspension fines so they can drive and find employment, or paying for new tires to help a co-worker avoid taking a loan that would incur ridiculous interest payments. No, I am in no way comparing my efforts to those of the great minister, John Wesley. I am simply starting a journey towards sacrifice and minimilasim for the sake of helping others who I know have a legitimate need. Most I've helped, have found a way to return the money which enables me to use it to help others who have a need. Imagine what could happen if we all took a step of faith and decided enough is enough and started to bless those in need. Wow, what a difference we would make. When is enough, enough for you? Just a little advice to go!