“Homeless LGBTQ kids could still be at home–if the parents simply had a shift in their thinking.”
Meet Gracie. Her mother (my friend) posted on FB this story I thought you would love.
“For years we have described our youngest daughter, Gracie, as having a ‘Hobo Heart.’ This is a picture of her hobo heart – I took this of her a couple of months ago in New Orleans while she was watching a homeless person walking away. If we go downtown or are in another city she always has to keep some change or dollar bills with her to share… she “sees” the homeless even when I don’t… and she prays for every homeless person (by name) that she’s ever met. This year, she’s decided completely on her own to make bags filled with a blanket, pillow, gloves, hat, socks, Chapstick, peanut butter crackers, water, toothbrush, soap and other stuff. She is writing Christmas cards for each one. She’s shopped at Walmart, Dollar Tree and Dollar General and somehow managed to do it for about $20 per bag. She plans to give them out between now and Christmas. So far she’s made 4 packs.”
Gracie’s Hobo Heart is full of compassion. To me, Gracie’s Hobo Heart embodies the spirit of Christmas, the spirit of Christ.
Jesus told us to show kindness and mercy, to give to the poor, to defend the rights of those who can’t speak for themselves. Several times the Bible says of Jesus, “He was moved with compassion.” I just love that about him. Spurgeon says, “If you would sum up the whole character of Christ in reference to ourselves, it might be gathered into this one sentence, ‘He was moved with compassion.'”
How much compassion he must have for homeless youth, 40% of whom are LGBTQ. Amazingly, the vast majority of those youth either ran away or were turned away, by families who rejected them for being LGBTQ. That is simply startling. Because that means those kids could still be at home–if the parents simply had a shift in their thinking, if they had the compassion of Christ. Unlike economic, job or other issues that contribute to homelessness overall, parent issues are causing LGBTQ youth homelessness. And that seems completely preventable.
I wonder what would happen if those who do have the compassion of Christ would make places available in their homes for these youth. Like foreign exchange students. I wonder if we collectively could house all those homeless youth.
Gracie with her Hobo Heart, her heart of Christ, is doing what she can. I challenge he rest of us with the heart of Christ to do what we can.
For a glimpse into the life of a homeless LGBTQ youth, watch A Day in Our Shoes.