Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Be a Friend

We have been talking about a guest being a gift from God. However, sometimes we don’t know how to start a conversation with a guest that is different from us by nationality or economic circumstances. We all like our little comfort zones and it is so much simpler to just go and sit with our best friends than to sit with a stranger.
Here are a few conversations starters that will help to get the conversation going. The first one is quite simple, “Did you grow up around here?” Whether the answer is, yes or no, it leaves an opening for you to ask about the place where they did grow up and about favorite childhood memories. Another question is, “How was your day?” Listen to them and then share about your day. A third might be, “Did you attend church as a child?”
I know many people shy away from speaking to the homeless that God has put here among us. We are beginning to make a difference in some of their lives; Megan got a job a week ago and is so excited. We cannot expect them to just get out of their dire circumstances without a little help.
Talk to them. Ask them how their day was. Share with them your own life stories. Become their friend. Over time, you'll get to know them for who they are, and get to know their real needs. And it would be on those needs that you could focus your care for them. Just know that being a real friend fulfills their biggest needs: the need to be known, the need to belong, and the need to be accepted. With these needs fulfilled, along with your care and encouragement, our homeless friends might find the motivation to take the journey out of homelessness. Winter is coming, let us do it now!


  1. Great post! My friend Gretchen has a cousin who is walking from NY to New Orleans relying on friends and strangers to house him as he travels. His parents were missionaries, and he is exploring hospitality as it was in Bible times. His site is: http://www.poormanwalking.com

  2. You should write a post about the food pantry last week!