Homelessness is complicated. Compassion is not.
As soon as news was released concerning a temporary, non-aggregate shelter opening for formerly unhoused seniors and medically frail persons, a storm of angry and ugly comments was unleashed on local social media sites and elsewhere.
The next morning, at WCUMC’s weekly Zoom Bible study, a group of Christian friends engaged in a kind and compassionate conversation. Participants expressed their admiration for the good-hearted people who are doing the work “on the ground” of supporting our community’s most vulnerable persons. They talked of our collective responsibility for caring and healing, and a strategy for addressing “NIMBY” sentiments. We read from the Letter of James together, where we are reminded that “a person is shown to be righteous through faithful actions,” that “mercy overrules judgment,” and that “it is a sin when someone knows the right thing to do and doesn’t do it.” (James 2: 24, 1:13 and 4:17, Common English Bible)
That conversation made me proud to be the pastor of WCUMC.
When the congregation met in-person on Pentecost Sunday, worshippers brought signed cards that were delivered to the Holiday Inn, each addressed to “New Neighbor” with the message: “Welcome to Windsor.” Our hope is that this simple gesture will undo a bit of the harm inflicted by fearful people.
“Perfect love drives out fear … we love because God first loved us ” (1 John 4:18, 19). May we keep this truth ever before us, and act accordingly.
Grace and peace,