February 16, 2016

Perfection only happened once

When you struggle with homelessness, you can’t help but grow – and maybe that’s why we have some very wise people here at Everett Gospel Mission.

Colin* is one of so many who have taught all of us so much.

He has lived in Snohomish County for 30 years. Worked hard as a truck driver. When he passed by the Mission on his way to somewhere, it never even occurred to him that one day he would come through our doors for a meal.

But then his life took a series of tragic turns. He went through a divorce. Fell ill with a dangerous heart condition. Couldn’t work and burned through his savings. And finally, his house burned down with all his possessions.

I’m so grateful we were able to find a place for Colin in our Passport program. He attended all the classes and has been wonderful manning our front desk at the Men’s Shelter. But he also has heart failure, and his future is uncertain.

One day he told us:

“I’ve met some good people at the Mission. Some people think, ‘They brought it on themselves.’ Well yeah, don’t we all? Everyone has flaws. A lot of people here are really fighting with everything they’ve got. I see a lot of courage. I see a lot of perseverance and bravery, too.”

For many, it may be tempting to judge people struggling with homeless. We want to think we would have made better choices. But Jesus once dared a crowd to look at themselves and if anyone felt like they were without sin, they could throw the first stone.

Not one person felt like they were perfect.

With Easter around the corner, now is a good time to reflect on the universal need for grace. That God loved us so much he sent His son to give us a whole new kind of life. Jesus was the only perfect person ever to walk the earth!

The truth is, if we had suffered the same trials as Colin or any of the other people here at the Mission, chances are we would not have done any better at all.

If you agree, please share Colin’s wisdom with others. Let’s help our neighbors understand that people struggling with homelessness deserve a second chance – just like we all do!

* Name changed for privacy.