Saturday, January 15, 2011


Living in Alaska we are accustomed to moose in the front yard and whales off of Beluga Point. Sadly we are also all too familiar with a roaming homeless population that spills over into the grocery store parking lots, the gas stations, outside of fast food restaurants, parks and playgrounds.

Many are homeless through the "ministry" of chronic alcoholism and untreated mental illness. Others cannot afford a home and fear a shelter. Still others are in hiding from the law or an abusive family. Some had a different life weeks before losing a job.

There is a convenience store where I stop daily for one thing or another. I always pass the homeless sitting on the curb outside the doors because the manager shoos them out. If I buy donuts for work, I share. If the breakfast burritos are warm we have those. Mostly they do not look at me but reach for the food. Some offer a "God bless," said as a reflex. My prayer is for them to be off the curb and back into life but they are hungry in the moment and so I receive their blessing on their terms.

This is not really a story about the homeless although they have my heart. It is a story about how we are know. Last year when it was miserable to be outside, I had a hood up over my head against the wind and was hurrying to get inside the store. As I passed two homeless men one of them spoke just one single word to the other, "Breakfast."

I was not Kat, Kathy, Honey, Mom or Grandma. One word defined me. I was "Breakfast."

This story could go in so many directions but it only went one place in me. I had been named. It is OK with me if the secret name carved in that Heavenly stone that is mine alone is "Breakfast." It is a powerful name of Servant-Love.

There is more to the storehouse than donuts and the Bread of Life died so He could be broken and shared. So He could warm and heal and nourish. So He could satisfy an endless hunger. We who are His are "Breakfast." We are the taste of Jesus in this lost world. When we step into a line at the store, a hospital room, a funeral home, at work, as we brush shoulders with the world may the world know us and be nourished by Him. No empty gestures that say, "I am doing this because I am glad I am not you." But real business of Heaven stuff, "If you eat this Bread you will be filled."

I bless those homeless men for speaking into my life and for watering the love seeds God had planted. It has to be about love and about the work of the Shepherd who came for all the homeless ones like us.

Charles Spurgeon had a beautiful thought on the subject:

"The master-motive of a good shepherd is love. We are to feed Christ's lambs out of love.

First, as a proof of love. "If ye love Me, keep My commandments." "If ye love Me, feed My lambs." If you love Christ, show it, and show it by doing good to others, by laying yourself out to help others, that Jesus may have joy of them. (That Jesus may have joy!)

Next, as an inflowing of love. "Feed My lambs," for if you love Christ a little when you begin to do good, you will soon love Him more. Love grows by active exercise, It is like the blacksmith's arm, which increases its strength by wielding the hammer. Love loves till it loves more, and it loves more till it loves more; and it still loves more till it loves most of all, and then it is not satisfied, but aspires after enlargement of heart."

Lord, I do love you and I am inviting your world to breakfast with the Savior!

Dedicated with affection to my friend of many years, Oscar Self, whose life has fed so many including this one. Stay online, Oscar. We need your wisdom and God-Heart.

With gratitude to Catholic Social Services, Anchorage, AK for tirelessly and creatively sheltering and feeding the homeless and the refugees of Anchorage.

Please remember them in your giving year round.

Picture from Sonrise Church Shelter Hillsboro, OR

1 comment:

  1. But for the grace of God, go we! We worked in Rescue ministries for awhile so the homeless have a special place in our hearts, too.