At day’s end, a place to be

“Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (Matthew 8:20 )

So, according to this verse, Jesus was homeless.

When you work in the field of social service, especially with those who live at the margins of society you hear a lot of interesting phrases. One of the strangest I have heard is “places not meant for human habitation.” For those who have not encountered this “delightful phrase” it means people camping on the edges of residential sections or out in industrial areas, or in alleys and between buildings, or where ever they can find a place to rest for some hours before moving on. It strikes me as strange that this society both abhors this type of living, but when it is in an organized park and done in tents with sleeping bags and nearby outhouses, it is called “camping” and “roughing it.” But when someone does not have a house or apartment to go back to at the end of the camping trip, it is “places not meant for human habitation.” There is an aura of elitism there that if that is the only option you have, it is distasteful. But if it is a deliberate choice for a certain or limited time, it is okay.

I have heard it said, and it is very true, being homeless is hard work. There is a false assumption that those people who are homeless are lazy and refuse to work. But let me tell you, it takes hard work to find a place to set up your gear, make it safe, and find the resources for the barest necessities for living. It is hard work to stay warm in the cold, and dry in the wet when you have not stable structure for protection. And at day’s end when, the privileged who have “worked hard” come back home, those who are homeless are starting hard work that most of us could never manage. And while it might comfort them to know that Jesus also considered himself homeless, those who are homeless in our society do not have the luxury to ponder that.

The Message renders verse 20 this way; “Jesus was curt: “Are you ready to rough it? We’re not staying in the best inns, you know.” Jesus started his life in a stable because there was no room in the inn. His years of ministry found him on the road most times, traveling to bring a message of hope and peace. Even at the end of his life he did not stay at his own tomb, but arose and was called back to Heaven. And for every Christian that is our true home, with Christ abiding with our Lord God. The fortunate have a place to lay their head while they are on this. But not everyone is so fortunate.

May you gentle reader do all in your power to make sure every one has a place to be at the end of the day, and when all of the days on earth come to an end, may you have a place in heaven. Selah!