But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord. At an acceptable time,
O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your
saving faithfulness. Deliver me from sinking in the mire; let me be
delivered from my enemies and from the deep waters.Let not the
flood sweep over me, or the deep swallow me up,
or the pit close its mouth over me.
Psalms 69: 13-15
I have a brother who is homeless. Having lived out most of his journey drifting in and out of shelters, jail and other unfavorable situations— his choices have accumulated into an ineffective yet settled way of navigating his avenues. People I’ve shared his story with always basically say the same thing: “Every family has one.”
As his sister, I pray for him and when I do see him make sure he has money to eat, as does the rest of the family. Through the years I’ve purchased bus tickets to get him to another shelter location if that was in his best interest. Other money has also been sent his way to help for clothing, jail bail or other incidents. It doesn’t feel great, but that’s all we can do. He has vices we can’t accommodate.
When our mother was alive she’d let him stay with her for a while, then he’d move on for various reasons. He won’t work and his life has been a quagmire of excuses. Asked why, he’ll say that growing up without a father is the cause of his position in life— his justification not totally without merit as there are acidic effects to some degree for anyone who shares this life fact. There are parts of that issue that affect all of us in some way as his siblings. At over 50 years old my brother has been unable to break out of that pattern of thinking and can’t seem to drag himself out of the hole he’s in. I have tried talking to him about making a change, as have others. We remind him that our mother isn’t here to throw him a life preserver any more.
The Salvation Army has a six-month effort designed to help their homeless clients eventually move into responsible living. Other family members and I have suggested to my brother to try and at least stay within that type of shelter program for his own safety and well-being. He would be fed and have a bed to sleep in every night in addition to the other skills services this Salvation Army program offers. He hasn’t stuck with it—gotten as far as four months. Then my brother returns to the streets for a while—gets tired and then finds another temporary shelter (sometimes). There are those that won’t let him return.
Having dealt with my own limitations, which have at times bound me emotionally, I do identify with certain aspects of my brothers condition. Unchecked, bad habits can take us down deeper and deeper—sucking us into an awful hole. But God’s power is stronger than that negative gravity. He has cables of love, grace and mercy that can pull us out of those bottomless pits. When it’s time, the wheels of His power go to work. I keep hoping for my brother—and for me. While writing this book, I shared with my brother this part of my story about his life. He was okay with it and wished me the best in my endeavor.
Praying for each other to be released from those things that keep us dangling over the muck, in the ‘acceptable time,’ helps the release.
Excerpted from my motivational autobiography, Navigating Life’s Roadways: Stories of Insight from My Odyssey and Inspiration for Your Journey in print and Kindle eBookhttp://www.amazon.com/dp/B008FQDPYE