By Ashley, Kaleo New Orleans Staff
I have come to the conclusion if it was not for The Vieux (Kaleo’s hosting church in New Orleans, pastored by Tom Bilderback, Kaleo New Orleans City Director), I don’t think I would have found a passion God has given me. Some of the people I met this summer were Mama Rose, Tommy, Rita, Monica and the many homeless folks that I interacted with throughout the summer. All the people had a great impact on me. They showed me how spread out God’s love is to His people and how ours should be as well. The majority of the folks I met this summer were homeless, recovering addicts or current addicts, or considered the lower class of society. For instance, Mama Rose was homeless for around 30 years, a very tough woman and addicted to alcohol. Through human beings showing her God’s love, she now is a regular church member of The Vieux and has a house with her dog, Gracie. Tommy, who is in his mid-70s and a member of The Vieux, could be spending his days doing other things than helping with clean up after shower Fridays. But, instead he uses his gift of time to allow The Vieux to run their ministry smoother and have a committed spirit. Monica is a worker at one of our site this summer and has told me she doesn’t have this job for the salary but works with her mentally disabled clients for the joy of it and to break down the stigma that is placed on them.
All the people I met this summer probably are not considered “special” in the eyes of and see as different from the rest of the “privileged” and maybe even inferior.
The thing is, God doesn’t see the difference. He sees past these “flaws”, the lack of material things, good hygiene or the ability to understand and process things like everyone else. He sees them as His Children; Mama Rose, the homeless community in the French Quarter and the mentally disabled. When He looks at me and you, he also sees His child. We are all his children and are loved so deeply by Him no matter what box society puts us. We judge each other for what we have or do not have, how we look and so many other unimportant things. We judge people to the point that we call them inferior or scum but God still loves that group of people. I mean even Jesus hung out with the outsiders of society in Matthew 9:11.
God sees everyone (rich/poor, popular/nerd) as equal because Jesus paid it all through his death and resurrection. We are equal and white as snow in the eyes of God through the price of what His Son, Jesus did for us.
This is one of the many growing experiences God has given me this summer and I am so blessed by it. These people are people, just like you and me. They deserve love just like anyone else does. I have this love for people who are seen as the scum or as outsiders in society. I am drawn to the people who may think they are overlooked and do not deserve love. I want to combat the lies they are believing and show them God’s love for them. I want to help them realize that whatever they are going through, Jesus is stronger and better, and for them to experience the love from the Father that He so desperately wants to share with them.